Closing Arguments End in Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair's Hearing
The Article 32 hearing will help determine whether Sinclair will stand trial on charges against him.
The outcome and punishment for Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair draws closer as prosecution and defense lawyers ended the fourth day of the Article 32 hearing with closing arguments.
The prosecuting team went through the eight charges containing 25 specifications which could result in the one-star general serving life in prison and being registered as a sex offender.
Dissecting documents, emails and salacious texts between Sinclair and his subordinates, the prosecuting team called the disgraceful conduct unbecoming of an officer and gentleman.
"Gen. Sinclair has engaged in deliberate, degrading course of conduct where he targets his subordinates to gratify his abhorrent desires," said Lt. Col. William Helixon, the lead prosecutor.
The defense lawyer Maj. Elizabeth Ramsey asked Maj. Gen. Perry L. Wiggins, the hearing officer to carefully consider each specification and review them to determine if there is enough evidence to support those charges.
Ramsey painted Sinclair's relationship with his accuser as consensual and that the captain was a jilted lover who had hoped for a future with him after their 3-year relationship.
"They shared a mutual love, no force, no coercion or threats between them according to all the documents," Ramsey said. "Her lies are her fury, and these charges are Jeff Sinclair's hell."
Sinclair's defense team is recommending an Article 15 reprimand for his conduct and read glowing recommendations from his 27-years of Army service from peers and his senior rater. The Article 15 is a nonjudicial punishment that is less severe than a court-martial.
If Sinclair receives an Article 15, his maximum punishment would be a reprimand, 60 days of restriction and forfeiture of half his pay for two months.
After hearing 22 witnesses testify, late Thursday morning the defense team rested their case and the court was dismissed until closing arguments continued at 5p.m.
Sinclair faces life in prison if convicted on the most serious of the 25 counts of sex-related charges that include wrongful sexual contact, sodomy and adultery, which are considered crimes in military.
Upon receipt of the report of the Article 32 investigation and the investigating officer's recommendations as to the disposition of the pending charges against the accused, the Commanding General, XVIII Airborne Corps & Fort Bragg will determine whether to dismiss the charges, pursue a disposition alternate to court-martial, or refer the charges to a court-martial.
A decision on the way ahead is likely to occur within the coming weeks.