WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Retired Rear Admiral Jamie Barnett is a partner in the Washington D.C. law firm of Venable LLP, who, along with his partner, Becky Pearson, a former Air Force Judge Advocate, accepted Army “Captain Smith” on a pro bono basis to advise her of her rights and responsibilities through the sexual assault trial. Because she is a victim of sexual assault, she will be referred to as Captain Smith. At the time they accepted the case, the Army was not providing her counsel.
Later in 2013 (almost two years after this case began); the Army established a Special Victims Counsel program and appointed Army Captain Cassie Fowler to lead the program and made a tremendous difference in the Captain Smith’s case.
Statement of Rear Admiral Jamie Barnett:
Our client stands by her sworn testimony in open court that General Sinclair sexually assaulted her. General Sinclair has just pleaded guilty to multiple charges that clearly undermine his integrity and honesty for at least the last five years of his career. The strength of her testimony convicted him. It is ludicrous for his attorneys to claim, completely without support, that the charges of sexual assault were false.
Captain Smith was part of the generation whose patriotism led them to join the Army immediately following 9/11. She is an outstanding officer. The Army can take pride that this conviction was obtained and that justice was served in the end. This would not have happened without the courage of Captain Smith, who often was standing alone in her accusations.
However, the Army and the military in general must learn that when a superior officer has authority over someone towards whom he is making improper advances, it is not a consensual affair. It is sexual abuse and a victimization of the junior person.
General Sinclair victimized Captain Smith and literally sabotaged her career by altering her orders to keep her under his command and refusing her many requests to be transferred. She was literally trapped and bullied by one of the highest ranking officers in the United States Army. General Sinclair also did great harm to his unit’s good order and discipline, morale, and cohesion.
Captain Smith did not want to be a victim or a witness. She only wanted to serve her country in the Army that she loves and to be free from the oppression of a man who completely abused the authority and confidence entrusted to him by the American people. She accepts the plea bargain as a deal that allows her to get on with her life and career, but she stands by every word of her testimony about his sexual assault.
The gravity of the charges he pled away included sexual assault and sodomy and should not be forgotten. The pattern of conduct was not only illegal it was unconscionable.