A married Army brigadier general has agreed to accept a plea deal in a military court where he had been accused of forcing a female captain to perform oral sex on him. The New York Daily News reports that Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair will avoid sexual assault charges that would require him to register as a sex offender by taking the deal.
The deal will bring to an end the highly publicized case in which Sinclair had admitted to carrying on a three-year affair with the female subordinate. The prosecution’s case had begun to crumble recently as questions arose as to whether the woman had lied in a pre-trial hearing according to Fox News.
Sinclair is expected to enter guilty pleas to lesser charges Monday when his court martial reconvenes at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. Among those charges are that he misused a government issued credit card while traveling to visit his mistress. He has already pleaded guilty to conducting the extra-marital affair, which is considered a crime in the military.
Sinclair’s attorney, Richard Scheff, said the general is admitting to his mistakes but added that the he is pleading guilty to behavior that wouldn’t be considered criminal in the civilian world.
"After wasting millions of taxpayer dollars, the Army finally admitted what it's known for many months: General Sinclair is innocent of sexual assault," Scheff said. "Brigadier General Sinclair has admitted to mistakes that are normally a matter between husbands and wives, or employees and HR departments. It's time to put this matter to rest.”
The deal was approved by Fort Bragg commander Maj. Gen. Clarence K.K. Chinn. According to Sinclair’s attorney a separate agreement with Chinn will detail the punishments Sinclair is to receive. He still could face more than 15 years in prison and dismissal from the Army. The agreement, though, is likely to call for much lesser penalties.
Col. James Pohl will conduct the sentencing hearing later this week.