Head of USAF anti-sexual assault unit arrested for sexual battery

Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Krusinski, 41, is pictured in this undated handout photo released May 6, 2013 by the Arlington County Police Department. REUTERS/Arlington County Police
Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski, 41, with the U.S. Air Force was arrested Sunday and charged with sexual battery. Credit: Reuters/Arlington County Police

The officer in charge of a program to curb sexual assault in the U.S. Air Force was arrested over the weekend for allegedly grabbing a woman by the breasts and buttocks in a parking lot not far from the Pentagon, officials said this morning.

Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski, 41, was arrested Sunday and charged with sexual battery after the alleged incident in the Crystal City area of suburban Arlington, Va., officials said.

Krusinski, the head of the Air Force’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, was removed from his job pending an investigation Monday.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel later spoke to Air Force Secretary Michael Donley about the incident, expressing “outrage and disgust over the troubling allegations” and emphasizing “that this matter will be dealt with swiftly and decisively,” Pentagon spokesman George Little said.

“Sexual assault has no place in the United States military,” Little said. “The American people, including our service members, should expect a culture of absolutely no tolerance for this deplorable behavior.”

An Arlington County Police spokesman said Krusinski, who was under the influence of alcohol, grabbed the woman by the breasts and buttocks in a parking lot. She fended him off, and when he tried to grab her again she called the police, who arrived shortly thereafter and detained him, the spokesman said.

Krusinski posted a $5,000 bond and was released from the Arlington County Detention Facility, said the spokesman, who confirmed Krusinski’s name and arrest but did not have his rank or title with the Air Force.

The Air Force confirmed Krusinski was a lieutenant colonel in charge of the office responsible for overseeing the service’s sexual assault policy and developing prevention and response programs.

Annual report on assaults

Independent groups pushing the Pentagon to deal effectively with sexual assault expressed shock over the incident.

“If these allegations are true, this is one more example on a long list of how fundamentally broken the military justice system and culture are,” said Nancy Parrish, president of the Protect Our Defenders advocacy group.

“The idea that the head of the Air Force’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office could be arrested for sexual assault indicates the depth of the problem,” she added. “It’s outrageous.”

News of the arrest came as the Pentagon is preparing to release its annual report on the problem of sexual assault in the military.

A total of 3,192 cases were reported in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2011, a 1 percent increase from the previous fiscal year, according to last year’s report.

Pentagon officials have said the actual number of sexual assaults, including those that go unreported, is much higher, possibly as many as 19,000 a year.

The Air Force has faced a series of embarrassing sexual assault scandals over the past year. An investigation at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, that began in 2011 has so far turned up 59 cases of sexual assault of military recruits by drill instructors.

General Mark Welsh, the top Air Force officer, called the scope of the case “stunning” during a congressional hearing earlier this year.

In another case, the top general in charge of an Air Force court martial at Aviano Air Base in Italy overturned the sexual assault conviction of a lieutenant colonel, threw out his one-year prison sentence and reinstated him to duty.

That case has prompted Hagel to recommend that Congress alter the military justice system to limit the ability of a military commander to throw out court-martial verdicts.

Little said in a statement that Hagel has been directing Pentagon leadership to increase their focus on sexual assault prevention. He said Hagel would soon announce the next step in the department’s effort to combat the crime.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Mayor announces public housing improvements

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem on Wednesday, calling for the scaffolding to come down at NYCHA complexes across…

National

Peter Theo Curtis: American released by Syrian militants…

An American writer freed this week from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria spoke briefly outside his family's Cambridge home Wednesday of…

Local

Bratton defends 'broken windows' work as NYPD support…

Sixty percent of those polled said they support the "broken windows" theory approach popularized by Commissioner Bratton since his first term in the 1990s.

Local

Transit changes for Labor Day weekend

The MTA is adding additional service Friday for New Yorkers getting out of the city for the long weekend. On Friday, Aug. 29, 27 additional…

Television

'Full House' might be relaunched with some of…

A new "Full House" might be in the works.

Movies

Review: 'The Congress' is a crazy, unwieldy sci-fi…

Robin Wright is the center of gravity in "The Congress," which turns from a live-action Hollywood satire into an animated spectacular on a downer future.

Movies

Review: 'The Last of Robin Hood' is a…

Dakota Fanning plays Errol Flynn's (Kevin Kline) teenage gal pal in "The Last of Robin Hood," which takes a scandal and makes it dully empathetic.

Movies

Review: The uneven 'Life of Crime' mostly gets…

Elmore Leonard's "The Switch" becomes the new indie crime dramedy "Life of Crime," with Jennifer Aniston as a kidnapped woman whose husband won't pay up.

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

NFL

Dimitri Patterson suspended only for rest of preseason…

Dimitri Patterson ended up getting just a slap on the wrist.

Sports

Eugenie Bouchard excited for 'rowdy' fans at US…

Eugenie Bouchard is sure to endear herself to New York's tennis faithful as she tries to win her first grand slam title across the next two weeks.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at…

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at top, Nationals climb

Education

Does the school day start too early?

As thousands of high schoolers get ready to head back to class, health experts say it may be time to push back the start of…

Style

Fall 2014 trend: lilac

Push those gray and black sweaters aside and make room for blush and lilac.

Career

Stop eating lunch at your desk

What are you doing for lunch today? If you are like most workers, you'll be eating at your desk - which isn't much of a…

Parenting

Lure your baby to sleep with Maroon 5…

These new renditions of "Moves Like Jagger" and "Payphone" are Maroon 5 like you've never heard them before.