WASHINGTON – A senior military officer has accused the Air Force general who has been tapped to be the next vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of sexual misconduct, potentially jeopardizing his nomination.
Members of Congress have raised questions about the allegations, and the military investigation that found insufficient evidence to charge him.
The officer told The Associated Press that Gen. John Hyten subjected her to a series of unwanted sexual advances by kissing, hugging and rubbing up against her in 2017 while she was one of his aides. She said he tried to derail her military career after she rebuffed him.
The Air Force investigated the woman's allegations, which she reported days after Hyten's nomination was announced in April, and found insufficient evidence to charge the general or recommend administrative punishment. The alleged victim remains in the military but has moved to a different job.
“My life was ruined by this,” she told the AP, which routinely does not name victims of sexual assault.
The accusations against Hyten, 59, come at a time when the Pentagon has had turmoil in its senior ranks. One of President Donald Trump's nominees for Defense secretary recently withdrew after details of his contentious divorce surfaced. On Sunday, an admiral selected to be the top Navy officer withdrew due to what officials said was an inappropriate professional relationship.