Army sex trial begins with jury of generals seated

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Associated Press

Posted on March 5, 2014 at 4:36 AM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 5 at 1:08 PM

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) — A jury of five two-star generals has been seated for the court-martial of an Army general believed to be the highest ranking officer to face trial for sexual assault charges.

The long-awaited trial began Wednesday for Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair. He has pleaded not guilty to eight criminal charges including forcible sodomy, indecent acts and conduct unbecoming an officer. The former deputy commander of the 82nd Airborne faces life in prison if convicted of the most serious charges.

It's rare for such a high-ranking military officer to face trial. Under the military justice system, members of the panel must be senior in rank to the accused — ensuring Sinclair will be judged by a jury of major generals.

Opening statements are set for Thursday morning.

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