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MICHAEL BIESECKER
Associated Press

FORT BRAGG, NC (AP) — A military judge has declined to dismiss sexual assault charges against an Army general.

Judge Col. James Pohl on Monday offered the defense team to let a different commanding general and prosecutors consider a plea deal that was previously rejected. The defense has until Tuesday morning to decide between that option or allow the trial to proceed.

Before the trial, Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair had offered to plead guilty to some of the lesser charges in exchange for the Army dropping the sexual assault charges. The plea deal was ultimately rejected.

On Monday, Pohl reviewed newly disclosed emails and said he found evidence that the decision to reject the plea deal was influenced by political considerations.

Under military code of justice, the decision was supposed to be decided solely based on evidence in the case – and not its broader political implications.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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