US general faces sex crimes allegation
FORT BRAGG: US Army prosecutors offered the first details of a rare criminal case against a general, alleging Monday he committed sex crimes against five women, including four military subordinates and civilian, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany and elsewhere.
Officials said the military hearing on evidence in the case against Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair was expected to last at least two days.
Sinclair faces possible courts martial on charges that include forcible sodomy, wrongful sexual conduct, violating orders, engaging in inappropriate relationships, misusing a government travel charge card and possessing pornography and alcohol while deployed.
He served as deputy commander in charge of logistics and support for a division’s troops in Afghanistan from July 2010 until he was sent home in May because of the allegations.
The Army had kept details secret until now in the rare criminal case against a high-ranking officer.
Only two other court-martial cases have been pursued against Army generals in recent years.
On Monday, prosecutors alleged that the crimes happened between 2007 and 2012. In one case, prosecutors said that Sinclair threatened one woman’s career, as well as her life and the lives of her relatives, if she told anyone about his actions.
Sinclair’s attorney asked for the charges to be thrown out, arguing that prosecutors had read confidential emails between the general and his defense.
Defense attorney Lt. Col. Jackie Thompson said this violated his client’s rights and asked that new prosecutors be brought in to try the case.
The hearing officer called a recess until early Monday afternoon to give a legal adviser time to review the documents.