By Marti Maguire
FORT BRAGG, North Carolina (Reuters) - An Army general used his superior rank to force five women into improper sexual relations, military prosecutors said on Monday at a hearing to determine if he should face a court-martial.
Brigadier General Jeffrey Sinclair, who is based at Fort Bragg, is accused of 26 violations of military law. They include forcible sodomy, wrongful sexual conduct, possessing pornography while deployed and conduct unbecoming of an officer.
The charges stem from inappropriate behavior toward four female subordinates and one civilian over the last five years, Army prosecutors said, revealing new details about the charges announced against Sinclair in September.
Sinclair also is accused of claiming more than $4,000 worth of charges for personal travel as military business, and of deleting emails during the investigation, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said Sinclair used his rank to force the women into sexual relations. Sinclair threatened to kill one subordinate, or her family, if she told anyone, prosecutors said.
He also is accused of asking women to send him nude photos and berating female subordinates on several occasions.
When asked by hearing officer Major General Perry Wiggins if he would make a statement regarding the charges, Sinclair said "No, sir." His defense team declined comment to reporters.
Sinclair's lawyers asked that the case be dismissed or that the government prosecutors be removed due to alleged misconduct.
Prosecutors had reviewed thousands of confidential emails between Sinclair, his attorneys and his wife, said Sinclair's defense attorney, Lieutenant Colonel Jackie Thompson. Continued...