(FORT BRAGG, N.C.) — A now former Army general was spared jail time Thursday in a sensational case that involved a female captain accusing him of sexual assault.
Instead, Jeffrey Sinclair, who resigned his commission, received a $20,000 fine and an official reprimand, infuriating his accuser as well as some members of Congress who felt the 51-year-old career military man got a slap on the wrist.
Last week, Army prosecutors dropped the most serious charges against Sinclair after questions arose about the veracity of his accuser’s allegations.
Sinclair than agreed to a deal in which he pleaded guilty to adultery, maltreatment of his accuser and two other improper relationships.
After learning about his punishment, Sinclair told reporters, “The system worked. I’ve always been proud of my Army. All I want to do now is go north and hug my kids and wife.”
However, attorney Jamie Barnett, who represented the accuser, said his client was “devastated” by what she felt was a miscarriage of justice.
On Capitol Hill, California Democratic Congresswoman Jackie Speier called the sentence “a mockery of military justice.”
Sinclair was initially accused of twice sexually assaulting his mistress of three years and threatening to kill her and her family if she came forward with details about their affair.
The former general could still be demoted in rank by an Army disciplinary board, an action that would greatly reduce the pension he receives from the military.
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