A US Army general might face jail over allegations that he forcibly sexually assaulted a female captain. She liked to call him Poppa Panda Sexy Pants — until she stopped finding him sexy.
Brigadier General Jeffrey Sinclair will face a court martial in Fort Bragg in September on charges of forcible sodomy, adultery, and other unspecified allegations.
He is accused of abusing his authority by having sex with a junior officer. It is also claimed that he got violent when the captain refused to have oral sex with him.
Sinclair has pleaded not guilty to all charges, but his attorneys have acknowledged that he carried on an affair with a subordinate officer 17 years younger than him.
The woman has claimed that they had sex in the general’s quarters in Iraq, in her car in Germany, in an office in Afghanistan, and even on a hotel balcony in Arizona. The affair could have been kept secret had it not ended badly. The pair ended up bombarding one another with explicit, angry text messages.
The Washington Post has revealed that one read: “You are my heart and world you beautiful magnificent man … I need you and I mean really deeply profusely need you.” Her pet name for him, Poppa Panda Sexy Pants, was also in the correspondence.
The affair came out into the open when the captain was snooping through Sinclair’s e-mail in his office. She discovered loving messages to his wife and another female officer and flew into a jealous rage
She then confessed the affair to Maj. Gen. James L. Huggins, leader of all US forces in southern Afghanistan. She said assaults occurred between December 2011 and February 2012.
Sinclair’s defense attorneys have accused her of making up the assault allegations to save her Army career. They said she first told one confidant that the relationship was entirely consensual but reversed her story when she became aware of the consequences to her career.
Sinclair’s wife, Rebecca, wrote an op-ed column in The Washington Post saying she was sticking by her husband. She blamed what had happened to “the stress of war.”
She said her husband was not a violent abuser, “I don’t excuse my husband’s bad behavior or bad judgment … I never said it’s okay. I said I understand how it could happen.”
She also didn’t confirm whether she agreed that the description Poppa Panda Sexy Pants really suited him.