Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski, who led the Air Force's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response unit, is seen leaving the Arlington County General District Court, on July 18, in Arlington, Va. Accused of groping a woman in a Crystal City, Va., parking lot, prosecutors dropped a sexual battery charge against Krusinski but plan to file a charge for assault and battery. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)
An Arlington County, Va., prosecutor withdrew the sexual battery charge against the former chief of the Air Force’s sexual assault response office, who was set to stand trial on the misdemeanor this afternoon.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Theo Stamos said she instead plans to bring an assault and battery charge against Lt. Col. Jeff Krusinski. The misdemeanor charge would carry the same penalty as the sexual battery charge: up to one year in jail.
Stamos will present her case to a grand jury Aug. 19. Krusinski would stand trial in Arlington Circuit Court if the grand jury returns an indictment.
Krusinski was charged by Arlington police May 5 after he allegedly grabbed the breasts and buttocks of a woman in a parking lot not far from the Pentagon, where he had worked as head of the Sexual Assault Response and Prevention Office for two months. Krusinski was subsequently removed from the job.
Stamos said a “more thorough understanding” of the facts of the case, particularly the level of force used in the alleged attack, supported the assault and battery charge.
The arrest of Krusinski made national headlines. It came at a time when the Air Force was dealing with a number of other embarrassments and the military was under fire for its handling of sex crimes.
A two-star general is now in charge of the SAPR office, which has been expanded from two employees to 31.