Brigadier General Jeffrey Sinclair, a U.S. Army general facing charges of forcible sodomy and engaging in inappropriate relationships
Brigadier General Jeffrey Sinclair, a US Army general facing charges of forcible sodomy and engaging in inappropriate relationships Reuters

Brig-Gen Jeffrey Sinclair could be court-martialled over sex assault claims including forcible sodomy, adultery and possessing pornography in a war zone.

Sinclair, 56, has also been accused of forcing a female captain to perform oral sex on him. Adultery is a criminal offence under US military law.

He has also been charged with wrongful sexual conduct, misusing government funds, possessing alcohol on duty, and mistreating subordinates, military officials said.

The suspect, who has served in the Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan, has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

He is only the third United States general in 50 years to be put on trial for such offences.

The charges came to light when the unnamed 33-year-old captain, who, according to court documents, called him "Poppa Panda Sexy Pants", ended their sexual relationship in the war zone, and reported him.

Sinclair's wife of 28 years, Rebecca, has stood by him during the legal storm and blamed the pressures of his life in a combat zone.

The couple live with their two sons in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where the court martial will take place.

The female captain texted Sinclair during their affair in 2011. "You are my heart and world, you beautifu,l magnificent man."

However, she threatened to kill herself when Sinclair refused to leave his wife. "I need you and I really mean really deeply," she said.

Things turned sour when she found loving emails the general had written to his wife as well as another female army officer.

In an angry text, she said: "You are going to make me do something really stupid."

"I will not let you continue to screw me over."

In an email to another female officer with whom Sinclair had a relationship, she wrote: "I hope you don't think you're the only girl that he's sleeping with."

The case was reported to the office of Maj-Gen James Huggins, then commander of all American forces in southern Afghanistan.