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Jury Selection Begins In Trial Of Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair

A 2008 photo of Jeffrey Sinclair giving remarks during the transfer of authority ceremony at Forward Operating Base Kalsu, Iraq.
James Wagner, Joint Combat Camera Center Iraq

Jury selection starts this week in the court martial of Brigadier General Jeffrey Sinclair at Fort Bragg. Sinclair is accused of sexually assaulting a subordinate officer and faces allegations of forcible sodomy and wrongful sexual conduct, among other charges.  Prosecutors say Sinclair engaged in inappropriate sexual contact with a female captain under his command.

Sinclair's lawyers say the Pentagon pressured military officials to bring the charges against him.  They have most recently argued that Sinclair cannot get a fair trial due to the case's wide media attention, and the national dialogue about sexual assault allegations in the military.

Lawyers will select a panel of generals to act as a jury tomorrow, although Sinclair's trial has been postponed indefinitely and could start as late as September.  Fort Bragg officials have not said why the trial is delayed.

Sinclair faces life in prison if convicted of the most serious offense.

Will Michaels is WUNC's General Assignment Reporter and fill-in host for "Morning Edition"
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