TIME Military

Army General Pleads Guilty to Lesser Charges in Sexual Assault Case

Army Brigadier General Jeffrey Sinclair leaves the courthouse with one of his attorneys at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, N.C., on March 4, 2014.
Army Brigadier General Jeffrey Sinclair leaves the courthouse with one of his attorneys at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, N.C., on March 4, 2014. Ellen Ozier—Reuters

As the military aims to halt sexual violence in its ranks, U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair, accused of forcing his mistress into oral sex and threatening to kill her family, has pleaded guilty to lesser charges in return for avoiding a strict sentence

Updated 11:15am, March 17

The Army general accused of forcing his mistress into oral sex and threatening to kill her family pleaded guilty Monday on lesser charges, bringing his closely watched assault case to a close as the military seeks to clamp down on sexual violence in its ranks.

A judge accepted a guilty plea by Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair to disobeying a commander’s order not to contact his mistress, misusing his government travel charge card, using demeaning language to refer to female officers and using a curse word when confronted about that conduct, the Associated Press reports, bringing a humiliating two-year affair to an unsettled end.

The case against Sinclair was derailed earlier this year after prosecutors found that their chief witness—the general’s mistress and an army captain—may have lied under oath at a pretrial hearing. But Army officials say they believe his former lover’s testimony that the general forced her to perform oral sex against her will.

Had Sinclair been convicted on sexual assault charges, he could have faced life in prison.

[AP]

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