Saturday, April 21, 2018

Hearing for Army general accused of sex crimes

FORT BRAGG, N.C. — U.S. Army prosecutors offered the first details of a rare criminal case against a general, alleging in a military hearing Monday that he committed sex-related crimes involving four female officers and a civilian.

A hearing on evidence in the case against Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair opened at Fort Bragg, home to the 82nd Airborne Division. Officials said the Article 32 hearing, similar to a grand jury proceeding in civilian court, was expected to last at least two days.

The first witness called was Maj. Gen. James Huggins, the former commander of the 82nd Airborne and Sinclair's direct superior during his most recent combat tour to Afghanistan.

Huggins recounted that on March 19, a female captain came to his office late at night in tears. She reported that she had been involved in a three-year sexual affair with Sinclair, then her direct commander and a married man. Adultery is a crime under military law.

After the conversation, Huggins initiated a criminal investigation.

Sinclair faces possible courts martial on charges including forcible sodomy, wrongful sexual conduct, violating orders, engaging in inappropriate relationships, misusing a government travel charge card, and possessing pornography and alcohol while deployed.

He had served as deputy commander in charge of logistics and support for the division's troops in Afghanistan from July 2010 until he was sent home in May because of the allegations.

There have been only two other court-martial cases against Army generals in recent years.

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