The trial is set to begin today for Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair, who faces sex crimes and if convicted he could spend the rest of his life in a military prison.
Sinclair, 51, has pleaded not guilty to eight criminal charges including forcible sodomy, indecent acts, violating orders, and conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman.
Army General Accused of Sex Crimes
The general’s trial is set to begin today in a Fort Bragg courtroom to face court martial on criminal charges that include physically forcing a female captain under his command to perform oral sex.
While denying that accusation, lawyers for the married father of two have said he carried on a three-year extramarital affair with the junior officer during war tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. The admission of an affair will almost certainly end his Army career.
Prosecutors are trying to portray Sinclair as a sexual predator that uses his position of authority to prey on junior personnel working for him.
The lead military prosecutor resigned just weeks before the start of the court martial, following a contentious pre-trial hearing in January where the defense contends the female captain perjured herself on the witness stand. A new prosecutor is now forging ahead with the case.
Sinclair’s lead defense lawyer, Richard Scheff, said earlier this week, “We’re in a remarkable place, the chief witness lied under oath. The lead prosecutor resigned because he found her untruthful and non-credible. The Army’s senior leaders agree with his assessment. And yet we’re going to trial.”
General Sinclair is the highest known ranking officer to face a jury, under the military justice system and the case comes amongst already troubling revelations involving rape and sexual misconduct within the ranks.
Jeffrey Allen Sinclair served as the Army Operations Officer and chief of the Plans and Training Division in the Joint Special Operations Command. He was also Deputy Commander of support for 82nd Airborne Division and got his Master of Arts degree from the Naval War College, in national security and strategic studies.
Day 1 of the trial Set to begin for Army General Accused of Sex Crimes.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.