Nation/World

Air Force sexual assault leader charged in battery of woman

The man leading a U.S. Air Force program responsible for preventing sexual assault has been arrested on suspicion of drunkenly groping a woman in an Arlington, Va., parking lot, officials said Monday.

Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski, 41 – who appeared with several apparent cuts on his face in a police booking photo – was charged with sexual battery. He has been removed from his position overseeing the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program pending the outcome of the investigation, Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said.

“On May 5 at 12:35 a.m., a drunken male subject approached a female victim in a parking lot and grabbed her breasts and buttocks,” a crime report from the Arlington County Police Department said. “The victim fought the suspect off as he attempted to touch her again and alerted police.”

The incident happened near a stretch of restaurants and bars just west of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, police said.

Arlington police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said the woman apparently didn’t know Krusinski, and it was unclear where the cuts on his face came from.

Krusinski was released on $5,000 bond.

Stefanek said military officials knew of no prior disciplinary problems or criminal conduct involving Krusinski, who was responsible for overseeing the office intended to help “educate people about the sexual assault programs in the Air Force.”

Krusinski had held his position since February and reported to Brig. Gen. Eden J. Murrie, who oversees the overall sexual assault program, created in 2005.

“He was removed from his position today as soon as we were made aware of the charges, pending the outcome of the investigation,” Stefanek said.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel “expressed outrage and disgust over the troubling allegations” in a call with Air Force Secretary Michael B. Donley, Pentagon spokesman George Little said in a statement. Hagel “emphasized that this matter will be dealt with swiftly and decisively.”

The charges are an embarrassment for Hagel, who has promised to crack down on sexual assault in the military.



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