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Army colonel files suit against vice chair of Joint Chiefs Gen. John Hyten

U.S. Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, then-commander of U.S. Strategic Command, testifies during a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, March 7, 2017. (Department of Defense/Released)

An Army colonel has filed a federal lawsuit against Gen. John Hyten, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Hyten, who formerly led U.S. Strategic Command, grew up in Huntsville, Ala.

Col. Kathryn A. Spletstoser is seeking more than $5 million in damages in a federal civil jury trial, Air Force Times reported. The suit was filed in late November in California.

Spletstoser alleges Hyten subjected her to sexual contact during multiple incidents between February 2017 and February 2018. She also alleges her career was impacted when she rejected Hyten’s alleged advances.

The allegations became a central focus of Hyten’s confirmation hearings, despite findings by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations that failed to corroborate the claims.

Hyten has denied the allegations.

“I am intensely aware of the allegations made against me concerning one of the most serious problems we have in the military, sexual assault. It has been a painful time for me and my family, but I want to state to you and to the American people in the strongest possible terms that these allegations are false,” Hyten said during his confirmation.

Hyten was confirmed as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs in September 2019.


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