A retired two-star Army major general has confessed to sexually assaulting his daughter in the late 1980s, according to reports.
Army Maj. Gen. James Grazioplene, whose 49-year-old daughter, Jennifer Elmore, accused him in 2015 of repeatedly raping and molesting her as a child, pleaded guilty Wednesday to aggravated sexual battery in a Virginia courtroom, CNN reports.
Grazioplene, who had been jailed for the last 18 months, was expected to be released Wednesday and will now serve 20 years on probation as part of a plea deal, his daughter’s attorney said.
“It’s a reflection of that fact that Jennifer cares more about the truth than the punishment,” attorney Ryan Guilds told CNN in a text.
Grazioplene, who retired in 2005, was arrested in December 2018 after being indicted by a Virginia grand jury on charges including rape, incest and aggravated sexual battery involving his daughter, according to court documents cited by Military.com.
The alleged sexual assaults reportedly took place between August 1987 and May 1988.
“From Jennifer’s perspective, it was a bittersweet victory but certainly a victory,” Guilds told Military.com. “This has been a long journey for Jennifer, and this is the result of her willingness and courage to come forward.”
Army officials investigated Elmore’s claims for two years before moving toward a trial in 2017, but the case was dismissed by a military judge after the US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces ruled in a separate case that there should be a five-year statute of limitations on rape allegations, the Washington Post reported.
Grazioplene said the charges he faced were “false and incorrect” when reached by the newspaper in September 2018, months before it published a lengthy account by Elmore, who said she first molested by her father when she was just 3 years old.
A grand jury in Virginia — where there’s no statute of limitation on rape charges — then indicted Grazioplene in December 2018. He was arrested in Virginia four days later, the Washington Post reported.
Elmore, whose birthday was Wednesday, testified in court that her father took her innocence by acting on “whatever sick pleasures” he desired, CNN reports.
“I will spend a lifetime putting back the shattered pieces you left behind,” Elmore told her father.
Elmore’s mother and Grazioplene’s wife, Ann Marie Grazioplene, also attended Wednesday’s hearing.
“Jennifer, happy birthday,” Elmore told CNN her mom said. “I love you.”
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