Fired two-star Air Force general accused of rape, drinking before flying

Maj. Gen. Philip Stewart, a two-star Air Force general who was fired from his post due to a “loss of confidence in his ability to lead,” could face court-martial over allegations of sexual assault, adultery, and drinking before flying, according to the Air Force. Photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force

Oct. 11 (UPI) — A two-star Air Force general who was fired from his post because of a “loss of confidence in his ability to lead” could face court-martial over allegations of sexual assault, adultery and drinking before flying.

Maj. Gen. Philip Stewart, who commanded the 19th Air Force at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph in Texas, has been charged with sexually assaulting a woman on two occasions at an Oklahoma base, the Air Force revealed Wednesday. The Air Force said both incidents occurred “without her consent.

Stewart is scheduled to have an Article 32 hearing later this month to determine whether there’s probable cause that he violated the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and whether he will be tried by court-martial.

“Due to the impending charges, Stewart is currently serving in a limited capacity at an alternate duty location at JBSA-Randolph,” Air Education and Training Command said in a release Wednesday.

Stewart is charged with dereliction of duty over accusations he “pursued an unprofessional relationship” between March 6 and May 9.

The Air Force general is accused of conduct unbecoming of an officer, near Denver between March 6 and 8, “while on official travel.” According to the charge sheet, he invited an individual to “spend the night alone with him in his private hotel room.”

In addition, Stewart is charged with sexual assault, and a violation of extramarital sexual conduct, for allegedly committing a sex act on a woman near Altus Air Force Base in Oklahoma on April 13 and April 14, “without her consent,” according to the charge sheet.

He is also accused of “failing to refrain from assuming control of an aircraft after consuming alcohol within 12 hours prior to takeoff.”

Stewart is a fighter pilot who logged more than 2,600 hours in the air, including more than 600 hours in combat. At JBSA-Randolph, he was responsible for all flight training operations and oversaw 32,000 employees and 1,530 aircraft.

“The Air Force takes any misconduct allegation seriously and is committed to conducting a thorough investigation,” Lt. Gen. Brian Robinson, head of AETC which oversees the 19th Air Force, said in a statement in May after Stewart was fired from his post.

Stewart could become the second general officer in Air Force history to face court-martial. Maj. Gen. William Cooley was convicted of abusive sexual contact in a court-martial last year at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.

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