U.S. Army Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair Accused of Sex Crimes

Jeffrey Sinclair sex crime charges

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 he committed sex crimes against five women, including four subordinates and a civilian.

An Article 32 hearing on evidence in the case against Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair opened Monday at Fort Bragg, a sprawling post that is home to the 82nd Airborne Division. Officials said it was expected to last at least two days.

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 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.

Before prosecutors could begin presenting their case Monday, defense lawyer Lt. Col. Jackie Thompson said military investigators had violated Sinclair's rights by reading confidential emails he had exchanged with his lawyers and wife discussing the accusations against him.

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Under questioning from Thompson, the lead investigator in the case acknowledged she had read the confidential e-mails, violating the terms of the subpoena used to obtain them from Sinclair's service provider. Those e-mails were later turned over to prosecutors, who are barred from seeing Sinclair's communications with his counsel.

Thompson then asked Criminal Investigative Command Special Agent Leona Mansapit if she had the resources she needed to conduct a proper investigation in Sinclair's case.

"Probably not, sir," Mansapit replied. "I wish I had."

The defense is asking the hearing officer, Maj. Gen. Perry L. Wiggins, to either require all new prosecutors be assigned or have the case thrown out.

Until now, the Army had kept details secret in the rare criminal case against a high-ranking officer. In other high-profile cases, Army prosecutors have been quick to release charging documents.

In March, the Army quickly released charge sheets laying out evidence against Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, the soldier accused of gunning down 17 Afghan civilians in a massacre in southern Afghanistan.

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The first Article 32 hearing in Bale's case also began Monday across the country at Joint Base Lewis-McChord south of Seattle, Washington.

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

Prosecutors in Sinclair's case alleged at Monday's hearing that the crimes occurred between 2007 and 2012 in places including Iraq, Afghanistan and Germany, as well as Fort Bragg and Fort Hood in Texas.

In one case, prosecutors also said that Sinclair threatened one woman's career, as well as her life and the lives of her relatives, if she told anyone about his actions.

Sinclair's attorney asked for the charges to be thrown out, arguing that the prosecutors had read confidential emails between the general and his defense. Defense attorney Lt. Col. Jackie Thompson said this violated his client's rights and asked that new prosecutors be brought in to try the case.

The hearing officer called a recess until early Monday afternoon to give a legal adviser time to review the documents.




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lemmonherk

Well, I guess now we understand why rape and assault charges are under-prosecuted in the military. I guess it's true that a fish rots from the head down. This explains a whole lot about the military's attitude towards women who are assaulted by their brothers-in-arms.

One thing I can't understand, though: if the prosecution had a subpoena to get the emails, why weren't they supposed to read them? I absolutely don't see the logic in that. If they weren't supposed to read them, why were they granted the subpoena in the first place?

Can anyone explain the reasoning behind all this?

November 07 2012 at 11:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to lemmonherk's comment
leftyala

Read the story again. It says rather plainly that the investigators and prosecuting attorneys obtained the emails by violating the terms of the subpoena. If you ignore the law as laid down by the judge, you can do a lot of things!

November 20 2012 at 9:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ascha79846

So this guy made it all the way to Maj General then started committing sex crimes? Interesting!

November 07 2012 at 9:44 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
mphseason

Try this in the Israel army….maybe we need to raise our standards as high as theirs are.

November 07 2012 at 9:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mphseason's comment
ascha79846

Agreed! We also need more women dying in combat to make it an even playing field.

November 07 2012 at 10:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
williamrenate

The old saying applies "Do not do as I do, do as I say" some old veterans may understand what this means

November 07 2012 at 5:35 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to williamrenate's comment
bdbc88

I sure do, you can get the same effect watching our political leaders.

November 07 2012 at 9:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jabaileydc

It's a shame when some individuals who are in the military actually think they are above the law. I'll never understand why rape occurs when men are at battle. I guess the rumors of solders being fed saltpeter are false!

November 07 2012 at 4:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
smartfix

So defense attorney Lt. Col. Jackie Thompson wants the charges against the general dropped because some emails were read. I suppose that exonerates this scumbag general? This Army POS shoud go free? Ms.Thompson, you're are a failure as a woman, mother, wife, sister, laywer, human being, but most of all you're a failure as a soldier. I sincerely hope you become a victim of the same behavior the general exhibited. We'll make a movie and sell it to the Tangos in Afganistan.

November 07 2012 at 3:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to smartfix's comment
ascha79846

OMG!

November 07 2012 at 10:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
leftyala

Your name is rather the opposite of you, it seems. How could you possibly wish such an event upon any woman. Friend, you are dragging bottom.

November 20 2012 at 9:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bartandyc

This guy sounds like a candidate for a firing squad.he threatened victims lives and victims families lives.

November 07 2012 at 2:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
micadukey

This kind of behavior at the level of general is the reason for the abhorrently high rates of rape and physical abuse of women in the military. If the Army is serious about correcting this at the troop level, they must take a strong position with Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair. If they do not, we will all know their talk is nothing but lip service.

November 07 2012 at 2:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
landmlakes

he who is without sin cast the frist stone ?? If more of you wouls Believe in Gods Law maybe we would have had a change

November 07 2012 at 2:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to landmlakes's comment
petersonentvt

There is a right way and a wrong way to go about things and god and religion arent needed to determine right from wrong. You speak of Gods law - any real proof he exists as the bible was written and told soley by humans. It would be nice if God does exist but as far as I can tell it is just humans that came up with everything related to god. I dont need a god to tell me what is right and wrong for that matter I dont really need laws to tell me right or wrong. The one good thing that came from religion is the saying do unto others as you would have them do unto you - that pretty much says it all. Personal I am with Gov. Ventura from Michigan on religion - it is just a crutch for weak minded people. Organized religion is a lot like a cult as far as I am concerned. If you dont agree with them you are wrong. If you view something differently you are evil. Also there is a lot of do as I say not do as I do. There is tons of justifying for ones behavior when it doesnt follow the church rules.

November 07 2012 at 11:04 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
smashinb

Did 10 years in the military so I speak from experience. Here comes the ol' slap on the wrist from the GOOD OLE' BOY service known as the military. A SSgt teaching in basic training got 20 years for alot less than this. This guy will get 1 year maybe.

November 07 2012 at 1:05 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to smashinb's comment

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