Richard Scheff, an attorney for Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair, speaks to the media outside of the Fort Bragg Courthouse March 17, 2014 in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Davis Turner/Getty Images/AFP
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The U.S. Army general at the center of a rare court-martial of a top military leader was cleared of sexual assault charges on Monday, but admitted to mistreating a junior officer during their inappropriate sexual relationship.The 27-year Army veteran's attorneys said he had been vindicated of charges that he forced a female Army captain to perform oral sex, but his decorated military career is almost certainly over.Sinclair, a 51-year-old married father of two, has remained on active duty at the sprawling base at Fort Bragg after being stripped of command in southern Afghanistan in May 2012 as a result of the criminal allegations.His trial was already under way this month when a judge ruled that politics appeared to have improperly influenced the Army's decision to reject an earlier offer by Sinclair to plead guilty in exchange for the charges of coercive sex acts being dropped.The agreement called for the government to drop the sexual assault charges involving the captain with whom Sinclair admitted to having a three-year extramarital affair, as well as two additional charges that could have required him to register as a sex offender.
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