Retired Air Force General Arthur Lichte has been demoted to the rank of Major General and will forfeit roughly $5,000 a month in retirement pay after the service’s Office of Special Investigations found that he engaged in inappropriate sexual acts while in uniform.
Lichte, who retired Jan 1, 2010, after more than 38 years of service, could have been charged with conduct unbecoming an officer, adultery, and having an unprofessional relationship under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, but those charges have a statute of limitations, Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek told Military.com on Wednesday.
Larry Youngner, Lichte’s attorney, said they intend to appeal the Air Force’s decision.
OSI ordered an investigation into the retired General in August after being notified that a female officer — who initially had filed a restricted report in July to her sexual-assault response coordinator — changed her report to unrestricted to involve law enforcement.
The investigation found that Lichte engaged in inappropriate sexual acts with the female officer twice in 2007, while holding the rank of Lieutenant General as the service’s Assistant Vice Chief of Staff and Air Staff Director at the Pentagon. In 2009, Lichte, then a Four-Star General, once again had an inappropriate sexual relationship with the same female officer under his command, the service found.
Lichte was head of Air Mobility Command, headquartered at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, between 2007 and 2010.
Media reports identified the victim as a female Colonel. The victim “felt she had no choice, but to engage in sexual contact with [Lichte] due to his rank and position in the AF,” according to the heavily redacted OSI report.
The Air Force has not released the victim’s name due to privacy considerations, Stefanek said.
USA Today obtained a copy of the reprimand and quoted part of it: “You are hereby reprimanded!” James wrote, exclamation point hers, in the letter of Dec 6, 2016. “Your conduct is disgraceful and, but for the statute of limitations bar to prosecution, would be more appropriately addressed through the Uniform Code of Military Justice.”