Docked pay, reprimand in first-ever Air Force general trial

Apr 26, 2022, 9:01 AM | Updated: 9:25 am
U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. William T. Cooley, Air Force Research Laboratory commander, delivers remar...

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. William T. Cooley, Air Force Research Laboratory commander, delivers remarks during a press conference inside the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, on April 18, 2019. Cooley, has been convicted, Saturday, April 23, 2022, by a military judge of one of three specifications of abusive sexual contact in the first-ever military trial of an Air Force general. (Wesley Farnsworth/U.S. Air Force via AP)

(Wesley Farnsworth/U.S. Air Force via AP)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AP) — An Air Force major general in Ohio who was convicted on one of three specifications of an abusive sexual contact charge was told Tuesday he would receive a reprimand and must forfeit $10,910 of monthly pay for five months.

Maj. Gen. William Cooley, 56, was found guilty Saturday in what was the first-ever military trial of an Air Force general.

The weeklong court-martial at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio had three specifications, one accusing Cooley of a forcible kiss and two alleging forcible touching in 2018. Cooley was convicted of the forcible kissing specification but acquitted of the other two.

Cooley had the option of a trial by court member jurors or by military judge, and chose to have the case heard by the judge. He had faced a maximum punishment of dismissal, forfeiture of all pay and allowances and confinement for seven years.

Speaking after the sentencing hearing, Cooley’s civilian attorney, Dan Conway, told The Dayton Daily News that his client is “very thankful for the judge’s compassion here.” Conway said the punishment was “a very significant sentence,” and he said a letter of reprimand may have implications in terms of the rank at which Cooley will be allowed to retire, if he chooses to do so.

A former commander of Air Force Research Laboratory, Cooley was fired from that post in January 2020 after an Air Force investigation and has worked in an administrative job since then. Conway said it’s still Cooley’s hope that he may continue serving in the Air Force.

Officials said the verdict marked the first court-martial trial and conviction of a general officer in the Air Force’s 75-year history. Cooley’s monthly pay is $15,966, so the total financial penalty against him reaches nearly $55,000.

“If this result influenced just one survivor to know that his or her attacker’s rank or status would not prevent them from being held accountable, that is a win for the United States and the military justice system,” Lt. Col. Matthew Neil, who served as lead prosecutor, said Tuesday.

Cooley was charged with abusive sexual contact in 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 is a civilian who is not a Department of Defense employee.

In a statement issued after the verdict was handed down Saturday, the woman’s attorney Ryan Guilds, said the ruling “marks the first time an Air Force general officer has been held responsible for his heinous actions … Hopefully, this will not be as difficult for the next survivor.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Lina Khan, nominee for Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission, speaks during a Senate ...
Associated Press

Ruling could dampen government efforts to rein in Big Tech

The Supreme Court’s latest climate change ruling could dampen efforts by federal agencies to rein in the tech industry, which went largely unregulated for decades as the government tried to catch up to changes wrought by the internet. In the 6-3 decision that was narrowly tailored to the Environmental Protection Agency, the court ruled Thursday […]
3 hours ago
A Ukrainian serviceman changes his position at the frontline near Kharkiv, Ukraine, on Saturday, Ju...
Associated Press

Governor: Russians gaining foothold in pivotal Ukraine city

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian forces are strengthening their positions in a grueling fight to capture the last stronghold of resistance in eastern Ukraine’s Luhansk province, the region’s governor said Sunday. Ukrainian fighters have spent weeks trying to defend the city of Lysychansk, and to keep it from falling to Russia, as neighboring Sievierodonetsk did […]
3 hours ago
Associated Press

North Texas shooter kills 2, wounds 3 cops, takes own life

HALTOM CITY, Texas (AP) — A gunman killed two people and wounded four others, including three police officers, before taking his own life Saturday evening in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, police said. Haltom City Police Det. Matt Spillane said early Sunday that all of those wounded in the shooting in a residential neighborhood had non-life […]
1 day ago
FILE - In this Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011 file photo, Associated Press Special Regional Correspondent f...
Associated Press

Hope and despair: Kathy Gannon on 35 years in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Afghan policeman opened fire on us with his AK-47, emptying 26 bullets into the back of the car. Seven slammed into me, and at least as many into my colleague, Associated Press photographer Anja Niedringhaus. She died at my side. Anja weighed heavy against my shoulder. I tried to look […]
1 day ago
FILE - In this Monday, Nov. 18, 2019 file photo, the logo of Google is displayed on a carpet at the...
Associated Press

Google to erase more location info as abortion bans expand

Google will automatically purge information about users who visit abortion clinics or other places that could trigger legal problems now that the U.S. Supreme Court has opened the door for states to ban the termination of pregnancies.
1 day ago
FILE - President Joe Biden, center, meets with South Korea's President Yoon Suk Yeol, left, and Jap...
Associated Press

North Korea slams US-South Korea-Japan military cooperation

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea on Sunday slammed the United States, South Korea and Japan for pushing to boost their trilateral military cooperation targeting the North, warning that the move is prompting urgent calls for the country to reinforce its military capability. North Korea has long cited what it calls hostility by the […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
...
CANVAS ANNUITY

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
Docked pay, reprimand in first-ever Air Force general trial