Retired General Accepts Plea Deal, Avoids More Jail Time in Rape Case

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James J. Grazioplene, a retired two-star Army general.
Retired two-star Army general James J. Grazioplene. (US Army photo)

Retired Army Maj. Gen. James Grazioplene, who faced charges of allegedly raping his daughter in the 1980s, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge today in Prince William County Circuit Court in exchange for a 20-year suspended prison sentence.

Grazioplene, who has been incarcerated for 18 months, will serve no additional jail time as part of the plea agreement that includes supervised probation, according to documents published by the court.

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The two-star, who retired from the Army in 2005, was arrested Dec. 7, 2018 and indicted by a Virginia grand jury on multiple charges that included rape, incest and aggravated sexual battery allegedly involving his daughter. The alleged offenses occurred between Aug. 1, 1987, and May 31, 1988, according to court documents.

"He pled guilty to a single count of sexual battery and in return for that, all the other charges were dismissed," Ryan Guilds, an attorney representing Grazioplene's daughter, Jennifer Elmore, told Military.com.

"It was a plea agreement that was agreed to by the government and it something that Jennifer supported, because at the end of the day, the truth was more important than the punishment for her."

While Military.com does not typically name alleged victims of sexual assault, Elmore has chosen to speak publicly about her story in connection with the trial.

Military.com contacted Grazioplene's attorneys -- Thomas Pavlinic and John Irving -- for comment on the plea agreement but did not receive an immediate response.

The Army charged Grazioplene in 2017 with violating Article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice with six specifications of rape of a minor on multiple occasions between 1983 and 1989. But the Army dismissed the case after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces ruled there should be a five-year statute of limitations on rape charges.

"From Jennifer's perspective, it was a bittersweet victory but certainly a victory." Guilds said. "This has been a long journey for Jennifer, and this is the result of her willingness and courage to come forward. ... She has always fought for truth as opposed to retribution. And today is just a victory for her ... and for survivors everywhere who have the strength to step forward and speak the truth."

-- Matthew Cox can be reached at matthew.cox@military.com.

Related: Retired Army General's Trial on Rape and Incest Charges Postponed Again

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