By David Zucchino, Los Angeles Times –
DURHAM, N.C. — An Army general who was sent home early from Afghanistan in May has been charged with forcible sodomy, wrongful sexual conduct and other crimes in an alleged sex scandal involving female subordinates.
Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair, who was deputy commander of the 82nd Airborne Division in Afghanistan, was also charged with illegally possessing alcohol and pornography while deployed, mistreating subordinates and abusing a government travel charge card.
The Army announced the charges late Wednesday at Fort Bragg, N.C., home of the 82nd Airborne. Sinclair, a 27-year veteran with two master’s degrees, faces a preliminary hearing, known as an Article 32, to determine whether the charges should proceed to a court-martial. No date was set for the hearing.
Fort Bragg officials declined to provide details of the charges, which also include filing fraudulent claims. Sinclair was informed of the charges two days ago but was not immediately arrested.
“Given the nature of these proceedings, it would be inappropriate to comment any further at this time,” said Col. Kevin Arata, a base spokesman.
Arata said any questions from the media would have to be put in writing, with no reply until at least Thursday.
Sinclair, who was trained as a paratrooper, served three tours in Afghanistan and two in Iraq.
Serious charges against generals are rare. According to the Army, a brigadier, or one-star, general pleaded guilty earlier this year to making a false statement and wearing unauthorized awards or ribbons. Before that, a two-star general pleaded guilty to seven counts of conduct unbecoming an officer and one count of making a false statement in connection with adultery.