Brent Scowcroft Center Nonresident Senior Fellow James Joyner writes for The Hill on the case of Jeffrey Sinclair, the former deputy commander of the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division involved in a sex scandal:
The case of Jeffrey Sinclair, the former deputy commander of the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division involved in a sordid sex scandal, has been a lightning rod in the controversy over sexual assault in our armed forces. It ended last Friday with Sinclair reduced two ranks, from brigadier general to lieutenant colonel, and sent into retirement. For those who believe the military doesn’t take sexual assault seriously, the fact Sinclair served no jail time and was allowed to retire with a generous pension was an outrage. For those who think there is a politically correct witch hunt, Sinclair’s demotion, despite being convicted of only relatively minor charges, was excessive. It was, however, a just and lawful result.
Sinclair had been a rising star, an Airborne Ranger with five combat tours in his 27-year career, when has was relieved of his post and sent home from Afghanistan in May 2012. That September, he was charged with forcible sodomy, multiple counts of adultery and having inappropriate relationships with several female subordinates. He became the most visible symbol of a battle to crack down on sexual assault in the military.