Brigadier General Jeffrey Sinclair, who was accused of sexual assault against a captain in charges that originally included forcible sodomy and maltreatment of subordinates, reportedly teared up while reading his plea in court this afternoon.
Sinclair, who submitted a guilty plea in exchange for lesser charges (which would absolve him of sexual assault), has been tight-lipped through the case. According to the Associated Press, Sinclair told the court:
"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."
Meanwhile, the accusing captain, who is still in active duty, says she fears for her safety.
She said her career has suffered because she constantly worries her supervisors are talking about her behind her back and trying to undermine her.
"I'm very guarded now. I have a hard time trusting people. I have a very hard time feeling safe," said the woman, who cried during testimony and occasionally dabbed her eyes with a tissue between questions.
The court questioned the captain's mother, who testified that she sleeps with a loaded gun near her bed.
Sinclair's defense attorney, Richard Scheff, told the press that he hopes Sinclair "is permitted to retire at a reduced rank and can go home to his family." The judge accepted Sinclair's plea deal this afternoon, so Scheff's hope could swiftly become a reality.