FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) — Two female Army officers testified Wednesday they provided nude photos to a general facing sex crime charges.
A married captain testified that Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair repeatedly asked her to send him nude photos of herself, which she said made her uncomfortable. Eventually, she said she placated the married general by sending him downloaded pornographic photos of other women cropped so that their faces weren't visible.
The testimony came during the third day of a hearing at Fort Bragg to determine whether Sinclair will go on trial for multiple criminal charges including forcible sodomy, wrongful sexual conduct and adultery, which is a crime under the military justice system. The allegations against Sinclair involve relationships with five women other than his wife.
Sinclair served as a deputy commander of the 82nd Airborne Division in Afghanistan until he was relieved of his duties in May amid a criminal investigation and sent back to North Carolina.
On Tuesday, a second female captain testified that Sinclair, her direct superior, twice forced her to perform oral sex and threatened to kill her and her family if she told anyone. The woman had a three-year relationship with the married general at Army bases in the United States, Germany, Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Associated Press does not identify victims of alleged sexual assault or coercion.
The female captain who testified Wednesday said she and Sinclair did not have a sexual relationship and they had met in person only three times. Their relationship was primarily through emails, she said.
The military investigated the woman who testified Wednesday for adultery and fraternization, but she passed a polygraph test in connection with Sinclair. She received a letter of reprimand, but that is on hold and she was ordered to testify.
A female major also testified Wednesday that she sent photos of her breasts and a personal video to Sinclair.
The major said she had served as a company commander under Sinclair and that they became friends after they were no longer in the same chain of command.
The major said she sent photos of her breasts, before and after elective plastic surgery, to Sinclair. She also sent a video. The major testified she was punished by the Army and ordered to testify.
The major was investigated for adultery, took a polygraph test and passed it. But she was still punished for indecent acts.
Sinclair potentially faces penalties of up to life in prison if convicted at courts martial on the most serious charges. However, there is no minimum punishment or sentencing guidelines in the military court system, meaning the general could be convicted but not punished. He could also be forced to retire or reduced in rank.
Information from: The Fayetteville Observer, http://www.fayobserver.com