Air Force officer in sex assault


Reuters

Air force sex assaultAir Force Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Krusinski, accused of sexual battery in a case that has acutely embarrassed the military, stood silently in civilian court on Thursday as his attorney argued unsuccessfully for a later trial date.

Krusinski, 41, was chief of the Air Force sexual assault prevention and response branch when he was arrested on Sunday for allegedly groping the breasts and buttocks of a woman in a parking lot near the Pentagon.

One source told Reuters that the woman and Krusinski were not acquaintances.

While Krusinski is presumed innocent unless convicted, the case is becoming a symbol of the rising problem of sexual assault in the military highlighted in a Pentagon report this week.

Wearing a black blazer, khaki pants and striped tie, the stocky Air Force officer stood silently as Arlington County General District Court Judge Richard McCue set a trial date for July 18.

A dark shadow of a bruise could be seen under his left eye.

The police report of the arrest on Sunday said a drunken man approached a woman in a parking lot, grabbed her, and she fought off the suspect when he tried to touch her for a second time.

The Pentagon report which showed a 37 percent increase in sexual assault in the military last year rattled Washington.

Top White House officials and lawmakers met on Thursday to discuss how to toughen laws to prevent and punish sexual assault in the military.

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