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MG Cooley found guilty in historic Air Force court martial

Major General William Cooley stands in uniform at a podium with a logo that says Air Force Research Laboratory. Behind him are aircraft.
Wesley Farnsworth/88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Defense Visual Information Distribution Service

Today at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Maj. Gen. William Cooley became the first Air Force general convicted of a crime in a court martial. The two-star general was found guilty of one specification of abusive sexual contact and was acquitted of two others.

The military judge Col. Christina Jimenez announced the verdict to the small courtroom located on base.

The victim in the case is Maj. Gen. Cooley’s sister-in-law, a civilian. Her attorney Ryan Guilds read her statement after the verdict.

“My daughters deserve a world, deserve a system, military or otherwise, where they never have to be complicit in a lie to protect a power structure, to protect a predator.”

The sentencing phase will begin Monday morning. Cooley could be dismissed from the military, lose all pay and allowances and spend up to 7 years in prison.

While working at the station Leila Goldstein has covered the economic effects of grocery cooperatives, police reform efforts in Dayton and the local impact of the coronavirus pandemic on hiring trends, telehealth and public parks. She also reported Trafficked, a four part series on misinformation and human trafficking in Ohio.