Soldier charged in rapes appears in court


Spc. Aaron M. Pernell, 22, faces rape, kidnapping, and burglary charges in Hoke County and Fayetteville - on top of charges already filed by military officials for two alleged burglaries and a sexual assault at Fort Bragg.

Pernell made his first court appearances in Hoke and Cumberland counties Tuesday afternoon on 26 felony charges.

He is charged with three rapes in Hoke County and three in Cumberland County between 2008 and 2009.

On Friday, investigators dropped a bombshell when they said Pernell was not behind seven more recent burglaries and assaults on women who were home alone in Fayetteville and Hope Mills late last year and in January.

They said they're unsure if the attacks were the work of one person.

Meanwhile, Pernell is being held in military confinement at Camp Lejeune under a $11 million bond.

Pernell, an indirect fire infantryman assigned to 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, is a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma. He entered the Army in March 2006 and completed initial entry training at Fort Benning, Ga. In July 2006 he was assigned to 1-325 AIR. He has served two tours in Iraq.

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