Fired two-star research lab commander charged with sexual assault

| November 11, 2020

Maj Gen William Cooley

Cooley was in charge of the Air Force Research Laboratory. He was removed in January while the OSI investigated a complaint from a civilian regarding sexual assault. OSI has completed their investigation and is proferring three charges for violating Article 120 of the UCMJ (Rape and Sexual Assault).

The charge and three specifications of violating Article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice was preferred against Cooley on Oct. 29 by Lt. Gen. Gene Kirkland, the initial disposition authority in the case, according to a Tuesday release from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. Article 120 forbids sexual assault.

An Article 32 preliminary hearing will convene on Jan. 27, 2021, during which a senior military judge will review the charge against him, the release said.

If the case proceeds to a court-martial, it would be the first time an Air Force general faced such a trial.

Cooley is accused of making unwanted sexual advances on a civilian woman, who is not a Defense Department employee, while off-duty in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Aug. 12, 2018.

According to a charge sheet obtained by Air Force Times, Cooley is accused of kissing the woman on her mouth, without her consent, “with an intent to gratify his sexual desire.”

The charge sheet also said Cooley is accused of causing her to touch him sexually, through his clothing, and touching her sexually through her clothing, again without her consent.

A former chief prosecutor says that this is virtually unprecedented.

Don Christensen, a former chief prosecutor for the Air Force and the president of the group Protect Our Defenders, which advocates for victims of sexual assault in the military, said that if Cooley goes to court-martial, he will be the first general officer in Air Force history to do so. Christensen said he is also sure that no Air Force general officer in the last three decades — and possibly ever — has had charges preferred against him.

One reason for that, Christensen said, is because other general officers are the ones who decide whether or not to bring charges against their peers.

“This is completely unprecedented,” Christensen said. “I think it’s a reflection of the Me Too movement, the pressure the military’s under right now to handle sexual assault, and the realization that they’re under a microscope by Congress to act in these cases.”

Even as recently as 10 years ago, he said, the Air Force would have simply let general officers quietly retire rather than bring them before a court-martial.

But if the case does go to court-martial, Christensen said it will become logistically complicated. Cooley would need to be tried by a jury of eight peers — three- or four-star generals, or two-star generals who have served in that rank longer than Cooley has. And finding such generals who can be impartial, and don’t personally know Cooley or his case, could be tricky, Christensen said.

The Air Force may have to bring back some retired generals, or bring in general officers from other services, to hear Cooley’s court-martial, if it gets that far, Christensen said.

It is likely the Air Force will choose a jury from a panel of roughly 16 to 20 generals, Christensen said.

More at the source. Source; Air Force Times


Category: Air Force, Crime, Dick Stepping

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One of our longtime commenters – Devtun, I think – has indicated elsewhere that the USAF has never court-martialed a GO.

Wonder if that’s about to change?


While technically correct, Billy Mitchell was Court Martialed and forced to resign for inappropriate comments in social media. He was a colonel at the time, after being reduced and the AF did not exist yet.


Also they were going to CM Lichte but the SoL had passed so they demoted him fromm 4 stars to 2. Figure it cost him around a million dollars from reducing his retirement.

5th/77th FA

Guess we’ll see what kinda spanks he’ll get for his rank. Trying to get a little kiss and copping a feel is worse than theft and/or bribery, isn’t it. Dumbass!

Kinda money a 2 star makes, he coulda rented himself some very interesting female companionship. Who wants to make book that the Ring Knockers will close ranks around him? js


So, other than the obvious what else was he “researching”?


So…any investigations into Pedo Joe?

And how does that…exactly? Asking for a friend.

“The charge sheet also said Cooley is accused of causing her to touch him sexually, through his clothing, and touching her sexually through her clothing, again without her consent.”


Joe is “untouchable”


Bold move in my opinion. I think it is safe to say no one will attempt stolen valor with this guy’s credentials. He’s doing his part to reduce potential stolen valor targets.


In Voltaire’s _Candide_ , there is a section where Candide and his friends go to England. There they witness the death of Admiral John Byng.
Byng was given very broad instructions to defeat a superior French fleet before it invaded Minorca. Due to budget cuts and refusals by officials he was not given the ships, men, and supplies he was promised. The later battle was inconclusive, with the French retreating and Byng immediately returning to Gibraltar.
This military disaster was one of several Britain suffered during the early Seven Years War.
To prevent the fall of the Whig government in power, Prime Minister Thomas Pelham-Holles shifted the blame to Byng, claiming he “didn’t do his utmost”. Pelham-Holles failed upwards to become Duke of Newcastle while Byng was convicted and shot by a firing squad of Royal Marines on the quarterdeck of the HMS Majesty.
Witnessing the execution, the cynical Martin tells Candide the book’s most famous line: “in this country, it is good to kill an admiral from time to time to encourage the others”.

Jeff LPH 3, 63-66

That wasn’t too cool Cooley.

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Might be a lot more to this…