Former AFRL commander convicted of sexual assault

A former commander of the Air Force research laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio has been convicted of sexual assault.

Rome Labs is part of the Air Force Research Laboratory.

Major General William Cooley was the first general in Air Force history to be court-martialed and is now the first general-ranking officer to be convicted.

The Air Force Times reports that the verdict was handed down by Col. Christina Jimenez, the senior military judge assigned to the case.

Cooley was convicted of making unwanted sexual advances by kissing a woman while off duty in Albuquerque, New Mexico in August 2018.

The woman was a civilian Air Force employee.

Cooley was found guilty of one count of sexual assault with the specification of kissing the woman for sexual gratification.

He was found not guilty on two additional specifications involving physical contact between the two parties.

Cooley had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The sentencing portion of the court martial began Monday, and Cooley is expected to be sentenced today.

Cooley faces discharge from the military and up to seven years in prison. He is also facing a possible spot in the National Sex Offender Database.

Cooley, who served as commander of the Air Force Research Lab for nearly three years, was relieved of his duties in early 2020 during the investigation into the allegations against him.

The Directorate of Information is the Air Force and nation’s primary research organization for command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, and cyber technologies.

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