Army Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair Sexual Assault Case, A disgraced Army general who admitted carrying on a long and sordid war-zone affair with a junior officer and having improper relationships with two other women was reprimanded and fined $20,000 by a military judge Thursday.
Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair, whose court-martial made him the public face of the military’s struggle to prevent and police sexual misconduct in the ranks, dodged a jail sentence.
Sinclair, a paratrooper and veteran of the Iraq and Afghan wars, hugged his lawyers and friends after the sentence was pronounced by Col. James Pohl, the military judge, according to reporters in the courtroom at Fort Bragg, N.C.
“The system worked. I’ve always been proud of my Army,” Sinclair told reporters after the sentence was imposed. “All I want to do now is go north and hug my kids and my wife.”
He could be punished further financially. His lawyers have said they expect he will have to retire from the Army at a lower rank, which would diminish his pension benefits.
The judge’s decision ended a tumultuous, criminal investigation and court-martial that began in March 2012 when a female captain on Sinclair’s staff in Afghanistan reported that they had been having an affair for three years.
Adultery is a crime in the military, and it is particularly taboo for a married officer to have sex with someone directly under his command. Even worse, Sinclair’s accuser said the general forced her into oral sex on two occasions and once threatened to kill her and her family if she revealed their relationship.