FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) - An army general avoided jail time and was reprimanded and fined a total of $20,000 for inappropriate relationships with three subordinates in a closely watched court case.
Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair smiled and hugged his two lawyers in the courtroom Thursday morning after the judge's sentencing.
The final sentence could not exceed terms in a sealed agreement between defense lawyers and military attorneys. The agreement was unsealed Thursday and said Sinclair could have served no more than 18 months in jail.
Sinclair had been accused of sexual assault during his affair with one subordinate, but charges were dropped as part of a plea deal. He pleaded guilty to several charges including adultery - a crime in the military.
His case comes as the military works to curb sexual misconduct and Congress considers military justice reforms aimed at helping assault victims.
At the start of the Sinclair trial, WUNC's Frank Stasio talked with Washington Post reporter Craig Whitlock as well as Commander Patricia Harris, head of the North Carolina Department of the American Legion; and Greg Jacob, policy director of the Service Women's Action Network, about the broader issues surrounding sexual assault in the military. Listen to that conversation here: