Jeffrey Sinclair, U.S. General, Avoids Jail Time In Sexual Misconduct CaseBy: Val Powell - March 21, 2014
Disgraced Brigadier General Jeffrey A. Sinclair looked visibly relieved as he received his sentence in Fort Bragg on Thursday. Sinclair managed to elude jail time for the sexual charges filed against him, and was instead fined $200,000 and ordered to pay restitution worth $4,156 for misusing his government charge card. The decorated war veteran had been prosecuted for committing adultery with a direct subordinate whom he also mistreated. He also had inappropriate relations with two other women. He pleaded guilty to all charges.
The 51-year-old former deputy commander of the 82nd Airborne Division immediately announced his retirement, capping a controversial court-martial that embarrassed the Army and destroyed his stellar reputation. He was initially charged for sexually assaulting a junior officer, but the case fell through after the judge determined that the decision to seek trial might have been politically motivated.
Sinclair may have been spared from going to prison but army prosecutors urged the judge, Colonel James Pohl, to dismiss the general instead. If granted, Sinclair will not receive his pension and veteran benefits. A military retirement board will deliberate on the rank on which Sinclair’s pension will be based.
For two years, Sinclair’s trial has symbolized the military’s efforts in preventing and penalizing sexual misconduct among senior commanders. Sinclair is believed to be the highest-ranking U.S. military officer to be tried on sexual assault charges. His lawyers stated that if their client is officially dismissed, the loss of pension would severely affect Sinclair’s wife and two children. In a statement made outside the courthouse after the sentencing, Sinclair declared that he has always been proud of the Army and that the ruling showed that “the system worked”. After hugging his friends and lawyers, Sinclair added that he was looking forward to going north to hug his wife and children.
Sinclair called his wife Rebecca as soon as the sentence was imposed. She had earlier pleaded with the judge to spare her and their two children from Sinclair’s punishment by not depriving them of her husband’s salary and benefits.
Sexual Assault In The Military
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