Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum / YouTube General Hyten 39 s path to 1564179458.jpg...
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum / YouTube

Army Col. Kathryn A. Spletstoser has claimed that Donald Trump’s pick to be the next vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff sexually assaulted her in a California hotel room. Calling it her “moral responsibility” to come forward, Spletstoser reported the assault to military personnel. Details on the assault from The New York Times:

Army Col. Kathryn A. Spletstoser says she had returned to her hotel room and was putting on face cream on the night of Dec. 2, 2017, after a full day at the annual Reagan National Defense Forum in California, when her boss, Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, the commander of United States Strategic Command, knocked on her door and said he wanted to talk to her.

The military’s itinerary of General Hyten’s movements that day in Simi Valley, which was viewed by The New York Times, said he was having “executive time.” Colonel Spletstoser said in an interview this week that her boss “sat on the bed in front of the TV and asked me to sit down next to him.”

According to her account, General Hyten reached for her hand. She became alarmed, and stood back up. He stood up too, she said, and pulled her to him and kissed her on the lips while pressing himself against her, then ejaculated, getting semen on his sweatpants and on her yoga pants.

Gah-ross. Hyten has denied the allegation. A Department of Defense spokesperson called Hyten “a principled and dedicated patriot.” And Colonel Kathryn A. Spletstoser isn’t a patriot? One cannot imagine the courage it would take to come forward and risk your own career to accuse one of the most senior military officers in the country of sexual assault. Hyten also reportedly was not happy with the results of a lie detector test administered by a private company.

In April, after Colonel Spletstoser reported the confrontation in her hotel room, the Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations opened an inquiry into whether General Hyten had committed abusive sexual contact. Its review, parts of which were viewed by The Times, includes a redacted interview with General Hyten’s wife, Laura Hyten, in which she says her husband took a lie-detector test administered by a private company and was upset afterward because “it did not go well.”

The Times also noted that, before the allegation became public, Gen. Hyten called Spletstoser an “exceptionally competent and committed leader with the highest level of character” and said that “her ethics are above reproach.”

It seems only a matter of time before his name is withdrawn. Another embarrassing chapter in the story of the Trump administration.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.

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