Rapid fall for Army general accused of sex crimes - WRBL

Rapid fall for Army general accused of sex crimes

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FORT BRAGG, N.C. - With a single star studded on each shoulder of his immaculate dress blues, Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair waited his turn to go through the metal detectors at the federal courthouse at Fort Bragg, just like everyone else. The 51-year-old general is believed to be the highest-ranking U.S. Army officer ever charged with sexual assault.

Sinclair has pleaded not guilty to eight criminal charges including forcible sodomy, indecent acts and violating orders. His court-martial is scheduled to begin March 3.

While Sinclair denies he physically forced a female captain to perform oral sex, the married father concedes he carried on a three-year extramarital affair with the junior officer.

The case comes as the Pentagon is already grappling with a string of embarrassing revelations involving sexual misconduct within the ranks.

Heightened attention to the crime of sexual assault in the U.S. military may be causing more people to come forward and report problems. Defense officials cite the increased awareness as a possible reason the number of reported sexual assaults rose by more than 50 percent in 2013.

More than 5,000 reports of sexual assault were filed during the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, compared to the 3,374 in 2012, according to early data obtained by The Associated Press. About 10 percent of the 2013 reports involved incidents that occurred before the victim got into the military, up from just 4 percent only a year ago.

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