Sexual assault charges dropped as Sinclair pleads guilty to lesser counts

Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair has pleaded guilty to lesser charges after sexual assault charges were dropped.
By Gabrielle Levy   |   March 17, 2014 at 10:15 AM

The Army has dropped sexual assault charges against Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair in exchange for a guilty plea on lesser charges, after his accuser's testimony fell apart and the judge said the Pentagon had unlawfully influenced the case.

Sinclair's defense team Sunday said Fort Bragg Maj. Gen. Clarence Chinn accepted an Offer to Plead that dropped the sexual assault charge, a credit card fraud charge, and a charge Sinclair forced his accuser to stay in a relationship.

According to the deal, Sinclair will plead guilty to adultery and mistreatment of his accuser -- both crimes under the military Uniform Code. Although the specifics of the deal have not been released yet, previous agreements floated had Sinclair avoiding jail time but retiring at a reduced rank in exchange for his guilty plea.

The Army's case against Sinclair began to fall apart when his accuser, a 34-year-old captain who claimed the general had forced her to perform oral sex and threatened to kill her and her family if she revealed their (consensual) affair, gave testimony that contradicted forensic evidence.

After the lead prosecutor began to express doubts about whether they could effectively prove the assault, he resigned, apparently under pressure to push forward from the Pentagon.


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