World
Sexual assault charges dropped against general
Publish Date: Mar 18, 2014
Sexual assault charges dropped against general
Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair (L) leaves the Fort Bragg Courthouse with his attorney Ellen Brotman, after sexual assault charges against Sinclair were dropped after he plead to lesser charges . PHOTO BY AFP
  • mail
  • img
newvision

WASHINGTON - Prosecutors dropped sex charges against a US general on Monday in a plea deal that saw the army officer admit to mistreating a subordinate in an adulterous affair, officials said.

In a rare court martial of a senior commander, Brigadier General Jeffrey Sinclair admitted to conduct "unbecoming of an officer and a gentleman" but the court dismissed more serious allegations that he had forced a female captain to perform oral sex against her will.

Sordid details of the allegations drew heavy publicity because of a sexual assault crisis in the military that has alarmed lawmakers.

Sinclair, 51, who served as a top commander of troops in southern Afghanistan, had already entered guilty pleas on March 6 to a number of lesser charges, including adultery, which is prohibited under the military's legal code, according to a statement issued by US Army authorities.

On Monday, Sinclair pleaded guilty to the additional charges of failure to obey an order, cruelty and maltreatment, frauds against the United States and conduct unbecoming of an officer and a gentleman, the army said.

A judge approved the plea agreement and sentencing hearings were due to resume on Tuesday at a base in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

The general's defense lawyers had all along admitted that their client was ready to admit his affair but vowed to fight charges he had committed any kind of assault or threatened violence.

The defense had alleged the Pentagon had exerted political influence over the case, pushing for a trial despite the evidence. Military officials denied the allegation.

Sinclair's accuser was an army captain who is 17 years younger and who served with him in Afghanistan.

While the court martial has been under way, lawmakers in Congress approved reforms to the military justice system designed to bolster protections for victims of sexual assault and help prosecute rapists in the ranks.

The military's case against Sinclair was thrown into doubt before the trial began after the abrupt resignation of the chief prosecutor. He had reportedly confided to defense lawyers that he had serious reservations about the case.

AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Zuma urges foreigners to stay amid violence
PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma pleaded with foreigners to stay in South Africa as he cancelled a state visit to Indonesia to deal with a wave of deadly xenophobic violence...
South Africa attacks spark anger abroad
COUNTRIES neighbouring South Africa prepared to evacuate their citizens from South Africa as the UN raised the alarm over deadly xenophobic attacks...
Ebola-hit countries call for $8 bn aid plan
THE three West African countries hit hardest by the Ebola epidemic called for an $8 billion "Marshall Plan" to help rebuild their economies and boost prevention efforts...
UN envoys hear graphic accounts of Syria chemical attacks
The UN Security Council on Thursday heard graphic first-hand accounts from Syrian doctors of deadly chemical weapons attacks in their country, vowing it will take action against those responsible....
Death toll from DRC machete attack hits 19
NINETEEN people, including a pregnant woman, were killed in a machete attack in a region of the Democratic Republic of Congo that has been repeatedly attacked by Ugandan rebels...
Muslim-majority Indonesia cracks down on alcohol sales
Indonesia on Thursday banned small retailers from selling beer, despite an outcry from the booze industry and in tourism hotspots over the Muslim-majority country''s latest offensive against drinking....
Should African countries expel South Africans?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter