Air Force's sex-abuse prevention honcho charged with sexual battery
shot of Air Force Lt. Col. Jeff Krusinski, who headed the service's
sexual-abuse prevention office until he was arrested for allegedly
sexually assaulting a woman in Virginia over the weekend.
By Jim Miklaszewski, Courtney Kube and Tracy Connor, NBC News
The Air Force official in charge of its sexual-assault prevention program was arrested for groping, authorities said Monday.
Col. Jeff Krusinski, 41, was removed from his position as head of the
Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office pending an investigation,
the Air Force said.
The incident happened just after midnight
Sunday when a drunken Krusinski allegedly approached the woman in a
parking lot in Arlington, Va., and grabbed her breasts and buttocks,
according to a police report.
Police said the woman fought off her
assailant and scratches can be seen on Krusinski’s face in his mug
shot. He was charged with sexual battery.
He didn't show up for work today and would not talk to colleagues about the incident, a senior defense official said.
"He has been removed," Lt. Col. Laurel Tingley said of Krusinski, who
had been in charge of the sexual-assault unit for about two months.
arrest comes as the U.S. military grapples with sexual assault in its
ranks. The Air Force recently came under fire when a commander reversed
a guilty verdict in a sexual assault case.
"This is absolutely
infuriating," said Greg Jacob, policy director at the Service Women's
Action Network. "Clearly the business-as-usual manner in which the
military handles sexual assault cases has led to a climate where the
very officers in charge of preventing this criminal activity feel that
sexual assault is acceptable behavior.
"The military has proven time and again that the current system of prosecuting these cases is broken," he said.
On Tuesday, the Pentagon will release its annual report on sexual assaults in
the military, which shows an increase in reported assaults in fiscal
year 2012 — up from 3,192 a year before. Furthermore, the number of
people who made an anonymous claim that they were sexually assaulted but
never reported the attack skyrocketed from 19,000 in FY11 to 26,000 in
U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., a member of the Armed
Services Committee, said the allegations were "extremely disturbing."
is clear that the status quo regarding sexual assaults in the military
is simply unacceptable. Next week I am going to take this issue head on
by introducing a set of common sense reforms," she said in a statement.
have to reform how the military handles sexual assault cases and take
on the culture that perpetuates this kind of behavior.”
NBC News' Michael Isikoff contributed to this report