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Army busts Sinclair down two ranks after sex misconduct case

Posted June 20, 2014

Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair speaks briefly with reporters on March 20, 2014, after his sexual misconduct case ends with a reprimand and a $20,000 fine.

— Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair, who was cleared of sexually assaulting a junior officer, was demoted to lieutenant colonel before he was allowed to retire, the Army said Friday.

Secretary of the Army John McHugh said Sinclair retired at the rank of lieutenant colonel. Officials said it was the first time the Army has reduced a retiring general officer by two ranks in a decade.

“While retirement benefits are mandated by federal law, there is a requirement that an individual must have served satisfactorily in rank before receiving those benefits,” McHugh said in a statement. “Sinclair displayed a pattern of inappropriate, and at times illegal, behavior both while serving as a brigadier general and a colonel. I therefore decided there was sufficient evidence and cause to deny him those benefits.”

Sinclair, 51, had been accused of twice forcing a captain under his command to perform oral sex, but the Army's case against him fell apart over questions about her credibility and whether military officials improperly pursued the court-martial to send a message about cracking down on sexual misconduct in the ranks.

He ended his court-martial in March by pleading guilty to mistreating the captain during a three-year affair and having improper relationships with two other women. He also pleaded guilty to adultery, which is a crime in the military, as well as misuse of the government credit card and other conduct unbecoming an officer.

The military judge in the case reprimanded Sinclair and ordered him to forfeit $20,000 in pay.

McHugh said that he was prevented by federal law from taking further action and did what was “legally sustainable.”

“During Capitol Hill hearings, I was asked whether Sinclair would receive a pension after proceedings were complete,” he said. “Under federal law, if a person has earned a pension because of their years of service, they are entitled to those benefits; Congress might consider a change in the law that would allow greater flexibility and accountability.”

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  • landonsgrampa Jun 23, 2014

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    No, the Captain does not have to register as an anything offender.

  • "Screen Name-8/20" Jun 20, 2014

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    Nope, but you can press UCMJ morality charges and WIN after-the-fact, as this case clearly shows.

  • "Screen Name-8/20" Jun 20, 2014

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    No, there's no evidence of force in this case. That's why Sinclair got off without a prison sentence.

  • btneast Jun 20, 2014

    So someone tell me why this Sorry Person, got to retire!!One was consensual, one was not.

  • BEACH Jun 20, 2014

    They should have busted him to private!!!! Captain in FB was sent to prison 2 years this wk and lost everything, for same things, So someone tell me why this Sorry Person, got to retire!!
    By the way the Captain has to register as a sex offender

  • Christopher Rose Jun 20, 2014
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    The difference is Clinton did not FORCE Monica Lewinsky to do anything. She even said that herself. She was a willing participant of age. The Captain was forced. huge difference.

  • Milkman Jun 20, 2014

    Seems Sinclair was treated very fairly in this judgement. I would hope he would agree with that assessment.

  • "Screen Name-8/20" Jun 20, 2014

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    And necessarily so, because rarely are lives at stake in the civilian sector as often as they are in the military one.

  • Jack Miller Jun 20, 2014
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    I served for 8 years and just got out. The Army is full of adultry. It's a way of life and tolerated. You cannot police morals.

  • "Screen Name-8/20" Jun 20, 2014

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    First of all, civilian justice codes weren't used, military ones (the Uniform Code of Military Justice) were.
    And secondly, because there was either no, or little, proof that the encounters weren't consensual.

    However, under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, it's illegal for a married military member to have sexual relations with anyone other than their marital partner AND it's illegal for them to have sex with those subordinate to their own rank.
    Sinclair did both, apparently more than once.

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