• Thu. Mar 23rd, 2023


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General Convicted of Sex Abuse Forfeits Pay but Avoids Prison

“I think the military judge here did send a message that she was in fact taking this seriously,” Mr. Conway told the newspaper. “It certainly could have an impact on his retirement if he were to retire.”

The victim — who did not want her name used but consented to the disclosure of her family relationship to General Cooley — said in a statement after the verdict that “the price for peace in my extended family was my silence, and that was too high a price to pay.”

“Doing the right thing, speaking up, telling the truth, shouldn’t be this hard,” she said. “Hopefully it won’t be this difficult for the next survivor.”

Ryan Guilds, a lawyer for the woman, said that many changes over the last decade have made it less daunting for victims of sexual misconduct by military personnel to come forward. These changes include policy developments that better support accusers, greater sensitivity by military leadership to sexual assault, increased procedural protections for victims, and prosecutors who are more likely to believe survivors.

General Cooley’s conviction “is a hopeful sign, for sure,” Mr. Guilds said. “The reality, though, is that every survivor who decides to come forward and make that brave choice is going to confront a justice system that is going to be very challenging.”

He added, “In this case, it’s taken years to get where she is today, and I wouldn’t wish that journey on anyone.”

After an evening barbecue in Albuquerque on Aug. 12, 2018, General Cooley, who had been drinking, asked the woman for a ride, she told the court, according to the Air Force.