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Brigadier general accused of sex assault must pay over $20,000; no jail time

Posted at 11:34 AM, Mar 20, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-20 11:34:51-04

(CNN) — A former top U.S. commander in Afghanistan who was accused of sexual assault will have to pay thousands of dollars but won’t be imprisoned following his court-martial, his lawyer said Thursday.

Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair was sentenced Thursday. His lawyer Richard Scheff said his client was told he’d get a reprimand, must forfeit $20,000 and pay restitution for travel charges.

This happened days after Sinclair pleaded guilty to adultery and mistreating one of his accusers in a deal that saw the sexual assault and sodomy charges against him dropped, his defense team said.

He had previously pleaded guilty to other charges in the court-martial, including committing adultery, engaging in inappropriate relationships with three women, conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman, and obstruction of justice.

Prosecutors said Sinclair broke military law through sexual relationships — including threats to some women involved who held lower ranks — between 2009 and 2012 in Iraq, Afghanistan and Germany, as well as Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and Fort Hood, Texas.

Once the deputy commander of the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, Sinclair was moved to the North Carolina post from Afghanistan in 2012, the same year the last alleged incidents occurred and when was originally charged.

After he left Thursday’s hearing in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Sinclair told reporters he was glad “the system worked.”

“All I want to do now is go up north and hug my kids and see my wife,” he said.

His lawyer, Richard Scheff, said that he, too, was “very, very grateful” for how everything played out. He added that Sinclair plans to file his retirement papers with the Army.

“It restores our faith in the system,” Scheff said of the outcome.