By Andy Wolf
A two-star general in the US Air Force has requested to retire with honor rather than face a sexual assault inquiry, according to local sources.
Major General Phillip A. Stewart, who once oversaw US Air Force training operations, has asked to be allowed to retire following allegations of sexual assault out of Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph.
While Steward has planned to plead not guilty in the event the matter goes to a court-martial affair, he could face decades behind bars for his charges.
With four charges to his name, Stewart would escape them all in the event he would be allowed to retire, with no chance of charging him in civilian courts post-retirement.
He is accused of touching an unnamed woman’s genitalia without her consent during a work trip to Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma, in April, according to the Air Force Times.
Stewart is also accused of trying to fly a plane after drinking during that trip and of pursuing at least one unprofessional, extramarital relationship.
Stewart’s charges include sexual assault, conduct unbecoming an officer, dereliction of duty, and extramarital sexual conduct to flying with alcohol in his system.
Even if allowed to retire, Stewart could lose rank, which would impact his pension.
According to the Texas Standard, US Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall III will ultimately decide Stewart’s fate.
A hearing is set for March 21.
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