Army demotes general guilty of affair with junior officer

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Fort Bragg, NC, United States (4E) – The U.S. Army has demoted by two ranks the general and former deputy commander for American forces in southern Afghanistan forcing him to retire with lower benefits.

Army Secretary John McHugh announced the demotion of Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair to lieutenant colonel on Friday. McHugh said there was sufficient evidence to deny Sinclair of the benefits corresponding to a brigadier general.

The demotion was the latest punishment for Sinclair, 51. A judge reprimanded and fined the father of two after he pleaded guilty in March to having a three-year affair with a female captain. He also pleaded guilty to maltreatment of a subordinate, engaging in improper relationships, willful disobedience of an order, wrongful use of a government travel card, wrongful possession of pornography, and conduct unbecoming an officer.

The offenses could have meted him a 20-year sentence and dismissal from the service without pleading guilty.

His accuser had charged him with sexual assault, an offense that carries a punishment of life imprisonment.

Sinclair’s attorney Richard Scheff reacted to the demotion by saying, “General Sinclair has consistently taken responsibility for his mistakes and agreed to a reduction in retirement benefits. He is a highly decorated war hero who made great sacrifices for his country, and it’s right that he be permitted to retire honorably.”

Sinclair has served 28 years in the Army and will retire in the next several weeks.

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