The chief of the Air Force’s branch on sexual assault prevention and response was arrested over the weekend on charges of sexual battery.
According to the Arlington Police Department, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffery Krusinski groped a woman in a parking lot early Sunday morning. She fought him off when he attempted to grab her again and immediately alerted the police. The police department confirmed that he is being held under $5,000 bail. An anonymous spokesperson for the Air Force confirmed that Krusinski had been dismissed from his post in response to the allegations.
Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA), who recently reintroduced the Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention Act (STOP Act) to address sexual assault in the military, told the Stars and Stripes that the news made her physically ill. She questioned, “How many more reasons do we need to take cases of rape and sexual assault out of the chain of command?”
The Air Force has come under particular scrutiny after a Lieutenant General overturned a sexual assault conviction by jury of an Air Force service member. The Air Force fighter pilot was convicted in November for aggravated sexual assault by a jury of four colonels and a lieutenant colonel. He was dismissed from the Air Force and sentenced to one year in prison. Lieutenant General Craig Franklin overturned the jury conviction using “convening authority” – an absolute power of a single military supervisor to dismiss a jury decision as granted by Article 60 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).