March 19, 2014

Jamie Barnett’s representation of Army captain in sexual assault trial against Brigadier General continues to generate coverage

2 min

Venable partner and retired Navy Rear Admiral Jamie Barnett’s pro bono representation of an Army captain who accused Brigadier General Jeffrey Sinclair of sexual assault was featured in multiple publications. General Sinclair pleaded guilty to lesser charges in a deal accepted by a military judge on Monday with sentencing continuing this week. As part of the deal, the Army dropped the more severe violence related charge in exchange for an admission of guilt to several lesser charges. The Los Angeles Times, NPR, and Foreign Policy continued coverage of the proceeding on March 18, 2014.

According to the Los Angeles Times, in a Tuesday statement, Admiral Barnett said General Sinclair “not only disgraced his uniform, he used his command authority in a way that was both inappropriate and illegal.” He added, “It is past time to explain or parse either his behavior or judgment.” In the military, according to Admiral Barnett, a sexual relationship between a senior commander and a junior officer cannot be consensual due to the considerable authority commanders wield over those they command. “It is sexual abuse and victimization of the junior person,” said Admiral Barnett.

In addition to Admiral Barnett, partner Becky Pearson, a former Air Force Judge Advocate, provided counsel along with Army Captain Cassie Fowler of the Army’s Special Victims Counsel program.