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Major General William Cooley commits sex crimes in first military trial against an Air Force general

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – An Air Force major general in Ohio was found guilty by a military judge of one of three counts of sexual abuse during the first military trial against an Air Force general. army.

The charge that Major General William Cooley faced during his week-long trial at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio has three specifications, one charge of forced kissing and two charges of rape in the year. 2018. Cooley was convicted Saturday of forced kissing. specification but was acquitted of two others.

Officials said the sentence marked the first armed trial and sentencing for a general-level officer in the Air Force’s 75-year history.

A former commander of the Air Force Research Laboratory, Cooley was accused of sexual abuse during an encounter with a woman who gave him a ride after a backyard barbecue in New Mexico nearly four years ago. . Officials said the woman was a civilian who was not an employee of the Department of Defense.

Cooley was sentenced Monday morning and could face up to seven years in prison as well as loss of rank, salary and benefits.

Cooley had the option of having the case heard by member juries of the court or by a military judge, and chose to have the case heard by the judge.

“Today marks the first time that an Air Force officer has been held accountable for his atrocities,” the woman’s attorney, Ryan Guilds, said in a statement, the Dayton Daily News. report. “…Hopefully, this won’t be difficult for the next survivors.”

Cooley was fired from his research lab position in January 2020 following an Air Force investigation and has been in the administrative position since. A notice seeking comment was left for his attorney on Saturday.

“This incident clearly demonstrates the commitment of Air Force leaders to fully investigating incidents and holding Airmen of any rank accountable for their actions when they failed to comply. adhere to Air Force standards,” said Colonel Eric Mejia, defense officer for Air Force Command, in a statement.

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