The woman who accused Gen. John Hyten—who is nominated to be the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—of sexual assault spoke publicly to The New York Times, claiming he forcibly kissed her and then ejaculated in late 2017. Army Col. Kathryn Spletstoser, an aide to Hyten at the time, said her boss knocked on her hotel room door one night during the 2017 Reagan National Defense Forum conference in Simi Valley, California. Spletstoser said Hyten asked her to sit down on the bed, and then reached for her hand when she sat. She said she became alarmed and stood up. Hyten also stood up, according to Spletstoser, before pulling her to him and kissing her while he pressed his body against hers. Hyten then allegedly ejaculated, getting his semen on his sweatpants and her yoga pants. She said she was appalled by his actions, and told him to clean himself up. Hyten allegedly became apologetic, and asked her if she would report his behavior.
Spletstoser claimed the Simi Valley incident was just one of many incidents of unwanted touching that happened throughout 2017. She told the newspaper she planned on keeping quiet about the incident, assuming that Hyten was retiring. When she learned about his nomination, she said she felt a “moral responsibility to come forward” with her claims. Both Spletstoser and Hyten recently spoke to the Senate Armed Services Committee about the allegations. The Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations probed Hyten for abusive sexual contact after Spletstoser reported the Simi Valley incident, but said no evidence of wrongdoing was found. According to DefenseNews, Hyten’s nomination will advance.