Army general facing sex charges

Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair could face life in prison if convicted on sexual assault charges.

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) -- A court martial on sexual assault charges is set to begin today for a U.S. Army general who could face life in prison if convicted.

Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair is scheduled to appear in a Fort Bragg courtroom on criminal charges that include physically forcing a female captain under his command to perform oral sex. The 51-year-old married father admits he carried on a three-year extramarital affair with the junior officer, but denies any physical abuse.

Sinclair is believed to be the highest-ranking U.S. military officer to ever face trial for sexual assault and will be judged by a jury of fellow generals.

He has pleaded not guilty to eight criminal counts including forcible sodomy, indecent acts, violating orders, and conduct unbecoming an officer.