• December 22, 2014

Defense: General’s plea deal drops sex assault charge

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Posted: Monday, March 17, 2014 4:30 am

RALEIGH, N.C. — Defense attorneys said Sunday that an Army general agreed to a plea deal that includes the dropping of sexual assault charges against him.

Lawyers representing Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair said he will plead to lesser charges in exchange for having the sexual assault charges dropped, along with two other counts that might have required Sinclair to register as a sex offender.

Sinclair, 51, was accused of twice forcing a female captain under his command to perform oral sex on him during a three-year extramarital affair. But the Army’s case against Sinclair crumbled in recent weeks as questions arose about whether the woman lied in a pretrial hearing.

The defense provided a copy of the plea agreement approved and signed by a high-ranking general overseeing the case. Sinclair is expected to appear this morning in court at Fort Bragg.

The married 27-year Army veteran pleaded guilty earlier this month to having improper relationships with three subordinate officers, including the female captain who accused him of assault. He also pleaded guilty to adultery, which is a crime in the military.

Under the plea deal reached this weekend, Sinclair also will admit to abusing a government credit card he used while traveling to visit his mistress.

Defense attorney Richard Scheff said Sinclair is admitting to his mistakes, but pointed out the general is pleading guilty to behavior that likely wouldn’t be criminal in the civilian world.

“After wasting millions of taxpayer dollars, the Army finally admitted what it’s known for many months: General Sinclair is innocent of sexual assault,” Scheff said. “Brigadier General Sinclair has admitted to mistakes that are normally a matter between husbands and wives, or employees and HR departments. It’s time to put this matter to rest.”

A spokesman for Fort Bragg commander Maj. Gen. Clarence K.K. Chinn, who approved Sinclair’s plea deal, could not immediately be reached for comment.

According to the defense, a separate agreement reached with Chinn will dictate what punishments Sinclair will receive. In theory, he faces more than 15 years in prison, though the plea agreement is unlikely to require anything close to the maximum penalties. Sinclair also may be forced to retire at reduced rank, costing him dearly in pension benefits.

That part of the agreement will remain secret until after the judge overseeing the case, Col. James Pohl, conducts a sentencing hearing later this week. That process will include testimony from about 20 witnesses. It was not immediately clear whether his primary accuser will be among those called to the stand. The Associated Press generally does not name those who said they were victims of sexual assault.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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5 comments:

  • Bubba posted at 7:51 pm on Mon, Mar 17, 2014.

    Bubba Posts: 758

    What a disgrace. Reduce this dirtbag to Captain and dismiss him from the service with loss of all pay and allowances.

    Then take him to a barber shop.

    Disgusting.

     
  • Trish posted at 2:55 pm on Mon, Mar 17, 2014.

    Trish Posts: 6

    Unless the rules have changed or are diff. for officers, even if you are busted in rank you retire at the highest rank you held. So is this just a cover-up so the public will think he was punished?

     
  • Trish posted at 1:17 pm on Mon, Mar 17, 2014.

    Trish Posts: 6

    Om gosh, Just looked at another artical that no misconduct will be tolerated starting in 2010 and how many officers and other soldiers have been discharge from military. Really Why does this General get anything differant. This came from Chiefs of staffs in Washington. He should lose his pension just like hundreds of others have. Or the other one should receive money paid back. These are soldiers not civilians. I am sick of double standards. Just like the Ft. Hood shooting. It was not just a work place attack. It was directed at soldiers. They wanted to try him as a civilian. Thank God the Judge stood her ground. I am sorry you break the rules, in the military you are caught you get busted period.

     
  • Trish posted at 1:00 pm on Mon, Mar 17, 2014.

    Trish Posts: 6

    This is justice at it's best. The civilian world doesn't matter. He is military, he knew it was wrong and he would be caught. If he was an NCO he would be doing jail time and put out of the military. I thought the military was starting to move forward with cracking down on sexual issues. If the military started taking their pension away maybe this would stop. He stole from the military. What a good example. I am ashamed of the leaders who have basicly let him off with a slap on the wrist. He is a General throw the book at him. Do as I say not as I do. I would not want him as a leader and would not follow under his command if I was a female under him, and should not have to be subjected to him in any way shape or form period.

     
  • Mamma Griz posted at 5:03 am on Mon, Mar 17, 2014.

    Mamma Griz Posts: 259

    Par for the course for government work. RHIP!

     

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