May 8th, 2013
08:56 PM ET

Accused Air Force officer had training for sex assault prevention post

By Larry Shaughnessy

An Air Force officer charged with sexual battery stemming from an incident in Northern Virginia had received training for his job heading up a military unit aimed at preventing sex assaults, military records show.

Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski, a 1994 graduate of the Air Force Academy who served tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan, was arrested early on Sunday for allegedly grabbing a woman's buttocks and breasts in a parking lot in Arlington County not far from the Pentagon.

A police report said the unidentified woman fought off her assailant, who appeared intoxicated.

Krusinski, 41, is due in an Arlington County court on Thursday after local officials refused a request from the Air Force for it to handle the case.

Krusinski has been removed from his job leading a branch of the Air Force's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh told Congress on Tuesday that Krusinski is a personnel officer by training and had spent the previous two-and-a-half years working on Air Force staff in policy.

Krusinski took the position with the sexual assault prevention unit in February and had undergone training since then aimed at preparing him for his duties, according to Air Force spokesman Lt. Col. John Dorrian.

Dorrian gave CNN details of some of Krusinski's Air Force personnel records.

Dorrian said records showed Krusinski had an "exemplary record of service" and there was nothing to preclude him from serving with the sex assault prevention unit.

Records also indicate Krusinski had served in Iraq from November 2009 to May 2010 and Afghanistan from August 2011 to February 2012, and had earned five non-combat medals in 19 years of service.

The Air Force asked Arlington County to allow it to prosecute Krusinski under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

But Commonwealth's Attorney Theo Stamos responded that her office has "routinely prosecuted members of the military" and would do so in this instance as well.

"The incident occurred in Arlington, not on a military base," Stamos told CNN.

"In my 26 years, I have never been asked by the government to turn over a member of the military. It doesn't make any sense," Stamos said.

Krusinski's attorney declined comment when contacted by CNN.

The arrest came two days before the Pentagon released a report showing a 6 percent year-over-year increase in the number of reported sexual assault cases within the military in the fiscal year that ended last September 30.

Moreover, there was a much sharper uptick in the number of women who may have been similarly assaulted, according to anonymous survey results collected over a two-year period ending in 2012.

The findings drew an angry response from President Barack Obama, who said he had no tolerance for such conduct and urged the Pentagon to dramatically step up its efforts to prevent such cases.

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