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An Air Force major general charged with three charges of sexual misconduct was convicted of one charge in Ohio on Saturday, the first-ever conviction of a general in branch history.
Major General William Cooley was found guilty by a military judge of forcibly kissing a woman – a civilian, who is not an employee of the Ministry of Defense – and he was acquitted of two alleged incidents of forced touching during a week-long court-martial at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.
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“This case clearly demonstrates the commitment of Air Force leaders to fully investigate the facts and hold Airmen of all ranks accountable for their actions when they fail to meet Army standards. ‘air,” said Colonel Eric Mejia, judge advocate for Air Force Materiel Command. . AFMC headquarters is located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
This is the first-ever military trial of an Air Force general and, subsequently, the first conviction of a general since the Air Force was founded in 1947. He faces up to seven years in prison, as well as a loss of rank, salary or benefits.
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“Today marks the first time an Air Force general officer has been held accountable for his heinous acts,” the woman’s attorney, Ryan Guilds, told the Dayton Daily News. reported. “Hopefully it won’t be so difficult for the next survivor.”
The conviction stems from a 2018 incident when a woman provided Cooley with a ride home from a barbecue in New Mexico.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.