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Air Force general convicted of sexual misconduct for forcibly kissing his sister-in-law

Air Force Maj. Gen. William Cooley became the highest-ranking officer in Air Force history to be court-martialed and convicted when a military judge found him guilty of sexual misconduct on Saturday, Axios reports.

Cooley was convicted of forcibly kissing a civilian Air Force employee and acquitted of two other alleged forcible touching incidents. The general commanded the Air Force Research Laboratory near Dayton, Ohio, from 2017 until 2020.

The trial was held in Ohio, but the charge reportedly stemmed from an incident that took place in New Mexico in 2018 when Cooley gave the victim — who according to the Air Force Times was also Cooley's sister-in-law — a ride home from a barbeque.

"Hopefully, this will not be as difficult for the next survivor," the victim said in a statement via her attorney, Ryan Guilds.

According to Fox News, Cooley could face up to seven years in prison, as well as a loss of rank, benefits, or pay. His sentencing hearing is set to begin Monday. The Air Force Times notes that Cooley could also be added to the national sex offender registry.