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General accused of sex crimes claims evidence tainted

No matter who you are or what your position, one's reputation can often be damaged over unfair accusations. Allegations of sex crimes in particular raise the risk of dealing enough damage to reputation in one's professional life or personal life that it could be almost impossible to recover.

As many Dekalb County residents perhaps realize, this could currently be the situation for Jeffrey Sinclair, an Army general who is from Georgia and who is currently being accused of sex crimes before a military court. He is accused of such crimes as forcible sodomy, wrongful sexual conduct, and engaging inappropriate relationships as well as some other crimes. However, his defense attorney has said that the aggressive prosecution went too far in its investigation when it read personal email between the general and his defense attorneys.

For that reason, the general now argues that the prosecution team should be replaced. Further, the general's attorney claims that the evidence that prosecution gathered from reading the emails should also be barred from use at any future trial.

The general's strategy is sometimes known as the "fruit of the poisonous tree" defense. The idea is that any evidence that law enforcement obtains through illegal action cannot be used in court. This type of defense can be used in many different types of cases, such as an illegal search and seizure, an illegal warrant or, as is alleged in this instance, when it appears that the prosecution has breached the absolute bond of secrecy between a defense attorney and his or her client.

Being accused of any type of sex crime should always be taken seriously, and an accused person should seek legal help immediately for the protection of one's rights and their reputation.

Source:, "Georgia General's sex crimes attorney tries 'Fruit of Poisonous Tree' defense," Radell Smith, Nov. 5, 2012

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