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Army brigadier general faces sex, pornography charges

DURHAM, N.C. - An Army general who was sent home early from Afghanistan in May has been charged with forcible sodomy, wrongful sexual conduct and other crimes in an alleged sex scandal involving female subordinates.

Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair, who was deputy commander of the 82nd Airborne Division in Afghanistan, also was charged with illegally possessing alcohol and pornography while deployed, mistreating subordinates and abusing a government travel charge card.

The Army announced the charges late Wednesday at Fort Bragg, N.C., home of the 82nd Airborne. Sinclair, a 27-year veteran with two master's degrees, faces a preliminary hearing, known as an Article 32, to determine whether the charges should proceed to a court-martial. No date was set for the hearing.

Fort Bragg officials declined to provide details of the charges, which also include filing fraudulent claims. Sinclair was informed of the charges two days ago but was not immediately arrested.

"Given the nature of these proceedings, it would be inappropriate to comment any further at this time," said Col. Kevin Arata, a base spokesman.

Arata said any questions from the media would have to be put in writing, with no reply until at least Thursday.

Sinclair, who was trained as a paratrooper, served three tours in Afghanistan and two in Iraq.

Since he returned to the U.S., Sinclair has been assigned as a special assistant to the commanding general of 18th Airborne Corps, according to The Associated Press. Often when general officers are under investigation they are temporarily assigned as special assistants to more senior officers or commanders.

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It was not clear if Sinclair had an attorney, and a phone listing found for him was disconnected, AP reported.

Sinclair had arrived in Afghanistan for his deployment in September 2011, but had been serving as the division's deputy commander since July 2010, AP reported.

It's rare for an Army general to face court martial, according to AP. There have been only two cases in recent years.

Earlier this year, Army Brig. Gen. Roger Duff pleaded guilty to charges of conduct unbecoming an officer, wearing unauthorized awards or ribbons and making a false official statement, AP reported. He was sentenced to two months confinement and dismissal from the military. Under a pre-trial agreement, only the dismissal may be imposed. The case is still pending, said Army spokesman George Wright.

Prior to that, Maj. Gen. David Hale pleaded guilty to seven counts of conduct unbecoming an officer and one count of making a false statement, also in connection with adultery, according to AP. He was fined $10,000 and was ordered to retire at the reduced rank of brigadier general, Wright said.

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