A US Air Force general officer was found guilty of abusive sexual contact at a military court in Ohio on Saturday marking the first-ever court-martial trial and conviction of a general officer in the military branch’s history, according to a statement from the Air Force.
Also read: Zelensky asks world leaders visiting Ukraine to ‘not come with empty hands’
According to an Air Force release, Maj. Gen. William T. Cooley was found guilty on one of three counts of sexual assault in connection with a 2018 event in New Mexico. According to the statement, a senior military court found him guilty of “the first specification, ‘kissing (the victim) on the lips and tongue, with an intent to gratify his sexual desire,'” Cooley was found not guilty of the remaining two charges by the judge.
Cooley had entered a not-guilty plea.
Also read: Zelensky insists on Biden visit, ahead of Blinken, Austin’s Kyiv arrival
The anonymous victim said in court, according to the Air Force statement, that “Cooley asked for a ride after a backyard day-long social event.”
It went on, “During the short ride she said he told her that he fantasized about having sex with her. She alleged he pressed her up against the driver’s side window, forcibly kissed and groped her through her clothes.”
The Air Force does not name sexual assault victims, but the victim agreed to allow news outlets to reveal her relationship with Cooley without naming her.
Also read: United States military drops appeal of Hawaii order to drain fuel tanks
Ryan Guilds, the victim’s attorney, welcomed the court-martial procedure as “fair” and praised his client’s bravery throughout the trial.
“It is very hard to be a survivor in a criminal case,” Guilds noted in a statement. “That is one of the many reasons you see so few of these cases go to court-martial.”