In 2014, senior Army officer Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair, who was involved in one of the military’s most closely watched sexual assault cases, agreed to plead guilty to reduced charges, including disobeying a commander’s order, misusing his government charge card and mistreating his former mistress, a captain.
Between 2009 and 2012, prosecutors said Sinclair broke military law through sexual relationships in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Germany as well as North Carolina and Texas. In 2012, Sinclair was charged and the case was taken to an Article 32, which is the military’s version of a preliminary hearing. However, he did not have civilian defense counsel and later hired some big-name attorneys from a major law firm to go to trial.
From the beginning, the army brought in an entire arsenal to bring down General Sinclair. In every sexual assault case, the military is going to bring the most firepower, because they want that conviction, whether it’s for justice or not. Unfortunately for Sinclair, and many others that are accused in the military, they have faith in the system to go through the Article 32 because they think the military is going to take care of them.
Yet, this is not the case. Many times, the military does not care about the truth of the matter and they just want to get their conviction statistics up because Congress has long been unhappy with the high number of acquittals on sexual assault charges in the military. This “war on sexual assault” is dangerous and the consequences can outcast potentially innocent people from the beginning. And just like a war, the military will spend what it needs and do what it takes to get that conviction.
The Sinclair story, which ended in the General only having to pay thousands of dollars and avoiding prison time, is just one of the biggest examples of the corruption inside of the military. If you’re facing serious criminal charges, contact the military criminal defense attorneys at Bilecki Law Group today. Our mission is to defend fellow service members against the sometimes abusive and unfair military system.