Protect Our Defenders News Blog


Army Judge Halts Sexual Assault Case, Citing Political Influence

TIME Magazine writes:

The prosecution of one of the highest-ranking officers ever charged with the crime hits the brakes as a judge looks into political influences on the trial. Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair pleaded guilty last week to charges including possession of pornography and adultery

A U.S. Army judge has hit the brakes on the prosecution of Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair on sexual assault charges, saying improper political considerations may have prevented the accused from being allowed to offer a plea deal.

The judge, Col. James L. Pohl, ruled Monday that “unlawful command influence” may have inspired the General Joseph Anderson, the overseeing authority in the case, to reject an offer from Sinclair to plea to lesser charges. In particular, Pohl expressed concern about a letter sent by an attorney for Sinclair’s chief accuser to Gen. Anderson, which addressed the potential political fallout of a failure to fully prosecute, the New York Times reports. Sinclair’s case has garnered tremendous attention, particularly in recent months as Congress has wrangled with legislation to address sexual assault in the military.

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