Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair has been charged with forcible sodomy, multiple counts of adultery and having inappropriate relationships with several female subordinates, according to two U.S. defense officials, reported Huff Post Politics.
The U.S. Army brigadier general served five combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was sent home in May 2012 because of allegations relating to forced sex, wrongful sexual conduct, order violation, possession of pornography and alcohol, and misuse of a government travel charge card. He faces possible court-martial.
A court-martial is a military court empowered to determine the guilt of members of the armed forces subject to military law. If the defendant is found guilty, a court-martial decides the punishment. It is rare for an Army general to face court-martial. There have been just two cases recently.
One case was in early 2012 when Army Brig. Gen. Roger Duff pleaded guilty to charges of conduct unbecoming an officer, wearing unauthorized awards or ribbons and making a false official statement. He was sentenced to two months confinement and dismissal from the military. Another case involved Maj. Gen. David Hale pleading guilty to seven counts of conduct unbecoming an officer and one count of making a false statement relating to adultery. He was fined $10,000 and ordered to retire at the reduced rank of brigadier general.
Sinclair served as deputy commander in charge of logistics and support for the 82nd Airborne Division in Afghanistan. Since his return to the U.S., Sinclair has been assigned as a special assistant to the commanding general of 18th Airborne Corps.
Col. Kevin Arata announced the charges at a brief press conference on September 26, 2012 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Sinclair was informed of the charges on September 24, 2012, but was not placed under arrest. He will undergo an Article 32 investigation, including a preliminary hearing to determine if the situation should go to trial. An Article 32 hearing is a proceeding under the United States Uniform Code of Military Justice. An Article 32 hearing is required before a defendant can be referred to a general court martial. No date has been set for the hearing, which Arata stated the public could attend.
Sinclair arrived in Afghanistan for his deployment in September 2011, but served as the division’s deputy commander since July 2010. Sinclair has been in the Army for 27 years. He was serving his third deployment to Afghanistan. He is a trained paratrooper who previously served two tours in Iraq and a tour in the first Gulf war.