Army general expected to enter plea on sex charges

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 22, 2013 at 3:39 am •  Published: January 22, 2013
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FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) — An Army general facing court-martial was set to enter his plea Tuesday on a series of sexual misconduct charges.

Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair was scheduled for arraignment before a military judge, at which time he would be formally informed of the charges against him and offered an opportunity to plead either guilty or not guilty.

Though the Army has not yet released the final charges against Sinclair, a preliminary list included forcible sodomy, wrongful sexual conduct, violating orders, engaging in inappropriate relationships and adultery.

A 27-year Army veteran who served five combat tours, Sinclair faces life in prison if convicted on the most serious offenses.

Sinclair's case is headed to trial following a spate of highly publicized sex scandals involving high-ranking officers that has triggered a review of ethics training across the military. Of the eighteen generals and admirals, from one star to four stars, fired in recent years, 10 lost their jobs because of sex-related offenses.

That tally does not include recently retired Army general David Petraeus, who was forced to resign as CIA director in November after he admitted to an affair with the woman who wrote the biography of his celebrated military career. The investigation of Petraeus also ensnared Marine Gen. John Allen, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, over thousands of inappropriate emails he exchanged with a Tampa, Fla., socialite.

At an evidentiary hearing for Sinclair in November, prosecutors presented testimony about his conduct with five women who were not his wife, including officers who served under his direct command. The charges involve activities when he was in Afghanistan, Iraq, Germany and at bases in the United States.

Sinclair was deputy commander in charge of logistics and support for the 82nd Airborne Division in Afghanistan before being relieved in May during the criminal probe. He has been on special assignment since then at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

The female captain at the heart of the case said she carried on a 3-year sexual relationship with Sinclair, who is married with children. Adultery is a crime under military law, and the admission could end her career.



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