By Larry Shaughnessy
The former deputy commander of the Army's 82nd Airborne Division has been charged with numerous violations of military law, including forcible sodomy, the Army said Wednesday.
Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair has been charged with "forcible sodomy, wrongful sexual conduct, attempted violation of an order, violations of regulations by wrongfully engaging in inappropriate relationships, misusing a government travel charge card" and several other counts, said Col. Kevin Arata, a spokesman for the Fort Bragg-based 82nd Airborne Division, which since its creation during World War I has been one of the most celebrated units in the Army.
Specifics of the alleged crimes were not released. It could not immediately be determined whether Sinclair has an attorney.
Army spokesman George Wright said Sinclair currently is still on active duty, serving as a special assistant to the commander of the 18th Airborne Corps, and is not restricted to base. As is standard procedure in military criminal matters, he continues to be paid his salary.
Sinclair, who was sent home to FortBragg in North Carolina from Afghanistan earlier this year, will next face the military equivalent of a preliminary hearing, a so-called Article 32.
That's a hearing in which both the prosecutor in the case and the defendant's lawyer can present witnesses and evidence. At the end of the session the "investigating officer," who acts as a judge in the hearing, will make a recommendation as to whether a defendant should face court martial. That recommendation goes to the "appointing authority," an officer higher up the chain of command from the defendant.
No date has been set yet for the Article 32 hearing.