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General chokes up as he details affair during plea

By The Associated Press

This article was originally published March 17, 2014 at 8:57 a.m. Updated March 17, 2014 at 12:37 p.m.

FORT BRAGG, N.C. — An Army general who admitted to improper relationships with three subordinates appeared to choke up Monday as he told a judge that he'd failed the female captain who had leveled the most serious accusations against him.

At his sentencing hearing, Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair explained details of his three-year affair with the woman under his command for the first time publicly. His voice halted when telling the judge why he was pleading guilty to mistreating her in a deal that included the dropping of sexual assault charges.

"I failed her as a leader and as a mentor and caused harm to her emotional state," Sinclair said, his voice catching as he read from a statement. He asked the judge for a break and took a long drink of water before continuing to read.

"I created a situation over time that caused her emotional harm," Sinclair said, seated in his dress blue uniform. It was the first public show of regret or sadness for a 27-year veteran who had betrayed little emotion in court hearings over the past year.

The judge accepted Sinclair's guilty pleas on several lesser charges in a deal that includes the dropping of sexual assault counts and two others that may have required him to register as a sex offender.


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