National News

Army general facing sex charges adding lawyers

Posted February 21, 2013 7:38 a.m. EST
Updated February 21, 2013 10:22 a.m. EST

Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair

— An Army general charged with sexual misconduct has added civilian lawyers to his defense team.

Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair appeared in a courtroom at Fort Bragg Thursday morning for a brief hearing on pre-trial motions. Sinclair faces court martial on charges that include forcible sodomy, indecent acts, violating orders and adultery. He has thus far deferred entering a plea.

The Army has rebuffed public records requests from The Associated Press for copies of motions filed in the case by the prosecution or defense.

Sinclair's team has added four attorneys from the firm Montgomery McCracken, based in New York and Philadelphia. They asked military judge Col. James Pohl to delay decisions on the motions to allow the civilian attorneys to review the issues.

Sinclair told the judge he "was concerned" about the military lawyers' ability to defend him adequately against the charges, but those concerns have been resolved. He said he wants to keep the three military attorneys in addition to the new lawyers, and he said the civilian lawyers pose no threat to his military lawyers' careers.

Pohl denied a defense motion to disqualify the military prosecutors because they might have seen emails between Sinclair and his lawyers that were erroneously sent to them. The judge also set a June 25 trial date in the case.