Army colonel who accused Trump’s nominee for Joint Chiefs vice chair of sexual assault says ‘I Have a Moral Responsibility to Come Forward’
Col. Kathryn A. Spletstoser spoke publicly for the first time on Friday stating that the nominee sexually assaulted her in a Simi Valley, California, hotel room on Dec 2, 2017
In her detailed her allegations against Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, Col. Spletstoser claims Hyten ‘groped, kissed and ejaculated on her in a hotel room’ in 2017
Spletstoser, 51, said that on several occasions, Hyten tried to kiss her, hug her and touch her inappropriately while in her office or on trips, leading up to the Dec 2 encounter
Airforce Gen Hyten, 60, Trump’s nominee for vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is due to face a public confirmation hearing for vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on July 30
He currently oversees the country’s nuclear arsenal as the head of Strategic Command
Gen. Hyten denies Spletstoser’s allegations of sexual misconduct
It comes one day after the Senate Armed Services Committee said that Hyten’s public confirmation hearing will be held on Tuesday, July 30.
The Senate committee had previously heard Spletstoser’s claims behind closed doors as his confirmation is weighed, but this is the first time that she has been publicly identified.
She said leading to the fateful encounter, that on several occasions, Hyten tried to kiss her, hug her and touch her inappropriately while in her office or on trips, leading up to an encounter in a Simi Valley, California, hotel room on December 2, 2017.
Hyten and Spletstoser were both in town for the annual Reagan National Defense Forum, and she says that she was putting on her face cream that night when he knocked on her door.
Spletstoser says Hyten sat on the bed and motioned for her to sit next to him, and then 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.
Spletstoser said she was appalled when Hyten ejaculated, and she went into her hotel bathroom and threw a towel at him, telling him to clean himself up.
She said he went into the bathroom and stayed there for several minutes before coming out to apologize and ask if she would report him.
‘I was distraught,’ she told the Times. But ‘who was I going to report it to? Secretary Mattis? Really? All I was trying to do was just survive and not have my life ruined.’
Hyten denies her allegations of inappropriate touching. In June, an Air Force official charged with investigating her complaint declined to refer General Hyten to a court-martial.
Spletstoser says Hyten tried to kiss her, hug her and touch her inappropriately while in her office or on trips, leading up to an encounter in a Simi Valley, California, hotel room
The Air Force’s investigation into the allegations did not unearth any emails, text messages or other supporting evidence, according to a DoD source cited by the times.
An administrative inquiry into Spletstoser in 2018 includes remarks from her colleagues at Strategic Command that she was ‘toxic’ in her dealings with both subordinates and superiors, according to the Times.
‘Col. S. says things in meetings that could be perceived as disrespectful to senior officers and civilians,’ the administrative inquiry quoted a rear admiral as saying. ‘I have not seen Gen. Hyten correct her bluntness nor interruptions to seniors.’
Hyten currently oversees the country’s nuclear arsenal as the head of Strategic Command, and if confirmed he would be the No. 2 military officer in the country.
Department of Defense spokeswoman Colonel DeDe Halfhill said that “with more than 38 years of service to our nation, Gen. Hyten has proven himself to be a principled and dedicated patriot.”
Spletsoser’s Army career has spanned 28 years, including two combat tours in Iraq and two in Afghanistan.