Plea deal in US Gen Sinclair sex crimes case

Army Brigadier General Jeffrey Sinclair leaves the courthouse at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina 4 March 2014 Brig Gen Jeffrey Sinclair was the former deputy commander of the elite 82nd Airborne division

Related Stories

A US Army general accused of sex crimes has pleaded guilty to lesser counts, as prosecutors drop the most serious charges against him.

The deal was reached after a military judge said prosecutors had improperly pushed ahead with the trial of Brig Gen Jeffrey Sinclair, 51.

He has admitted having an affair with a female captain but denied sexually assaulting and threatening her.

Gen Sinclair is expected to receive a limited sentence under the deal.

The US military has been under increasing pressure to curb what the Pentagon has called an epidemic of sexual misconduct within its ranks.

New plea deal

Lawyers for Gen Sinclair said on Monday that prosecutors would drop the sexual assault charges and two other counts that could have required him to register as a sex offender.

The former deputy commander of the elite 82nd Airborne division pleaded guilty to the remaining charges, including abusing a government credit card while travelling to visit his mistress.

Prosecutors had alleged Gen Sinclair twice forced the female captain to perform oral sex and threatened her family with death if she ever told anyone about their affair.

"I failed her as a leader and as a mentor and caused her harm to her emotional state," Gen Sinclair reportedly told the court.

But last week, Judge Col James Pohl said he had found evidence in newly disclosed emails that senior military officers had improperly influenced prosecutors' decision to reject a lenient plea deal earlier in the case.

Col Pohl gave the defence another chance to strike a plea deal with a new set of Army officials.

The new deal is likely to include a sentencing agreement less severe than the maximum penalties of 15 years in prison and dismissal from the Army.

Gen Sinclair may also face additional administrative penalties from the Army, which could force him to retire at reduced rank.

He previously pleaded guilty to having improper relationships with three subordinates, including his accuser, as well as adultery, which is a crime in the military.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More US & Canada stories


Features & Analysis

  • A very clever little girlBrain gain

    Why are people getting better at intelligence tests?

  • Don Roberto Placa Quiet Don

    The world's worst interview - with one of the loneliest men on Earth

  • Welsh society plaqueDistant valley

    How St David's Day is marked in one community far from Wales

  • Pakistani police officers escort Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi, center, the main sispect in the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008, after his court appearance in Islamabad, Pakistan, Tuesday, Dec 30, 2014Freedom behind bars

    The luxury lifestyle of Pakistan's most notorious prisoner

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • KnucklesGood or bad?

    For many it can be very satisfying to 'crack' the bones in your hand, but is it bad for you?


  • BatteriesClick Watch

    More power to your phone - the lithium-ion batteries that could last twice as long

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.