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JEFFREY COLLINS
Associated Press

FORT BRAGG, NC (AP) — An army general avoided jail time and was reprimanded and fined a total of $20,000 for inappropriate relationships with three subordinates in a closely watched court case.

Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair smiled and hugged his two lawyers in the courtroom Thursday morning after the judge’s sentencing.

The final sentence could not exceed terms in a sealed agreement between defense lawyers and military attorneys. The agreement was unsealed Thursday and said Sinclair could have served no more than 18 months in jail.

Sinclair had been accused of sexual assault during his affair with one subordinate, but charges were dropped as part of a plea deal. He pleaded guilty to several charges including adultery – a crime in the military.

His case comes as the military works to curb sexual misconduct and Congress considers military justice reforms aimed at helping assault victims.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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