FORT BRAGG, N.C. — A month before an Army general’s trial on sexual assault charges was slated to begin, the lead prosecutor broke down in tears as he told a superior he believed the primary accused in the case had lied under oath, the Associated Press is reporting.
According to the report, Lt. Col. William Helixon had urged that the most serious charges against Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair be dropped because they relied solely on the woman’s accusation that he twice forced her to perform oral sex.
However, those above the seasoned sex crimes prosecutor overrode him, denying an offer from Sinclair to plead guilty to lesser charges.
Defense attorneys allege the top brass moved forward because they were worried about the political fallout that would result if the charges were dropped, according to the report.
Helixon was then pulled from the case after leading it for two years after a superior officer took him to a hospital for a mental health evaluation, according to testimony.
Following a daylong hearing, a judge ruled the case should go to trial. Opening statements are set for Thursday.
Read more: Associated Press