A United States Air Force Major General was found guilty of sexual abuse against a woman. Maj. Gen. William Cooley was convicted on Saturday for forcibly kissing his sister-in-law at a family barbecue in New Mexico in 2018. This marks the first court-martial trial and conviction of a Major General in the US Air Force.
The case was decided by a judge rather than a jury as per Cooley’s request. The trial happened at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, led by senior military judge Col. Christina M. Jimenez.
The general faced a total of three charges. Maj. Gen. William Cooley pleaded not guilty at the start of the trial. One charge was for allegedly causing the victim to touch him over his clothing, and the other for touching the victim’s private parts through her clothes. He was acquitted of these two charges. However, he was found guilty by Judge Col. Christina M. Jimenez of one count of abuse of sexual contact.
Maj. Gen. William Cooley’s sentencing is scheduled to begin this Monday. The two-star general may face up to seven years of imprisonment, dismissal from the military, and loss of pay and benefits.