Air Force's Ex-Sexual Assault Response Chief Is Acquitted of Assault Charge

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, Thursday, July 18, 2013. 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, Thursday, July 18, 2013. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski, who used to run the Air Force's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, was acquitted of an assault charge on Wednesday. The charge stemmed from in incident during which the officer allegedly grabbed a woman's breasts and butt in an Arlington, Va., parking lot. He faced an assault-and-battery charge after prosecutors dropped an initial sexual battery charge, a misdemeanor. 

During the trial, the 23-year-old Treasury Department employee who accused Krusinski of groping her told the jury that the officer had grabbed her outside an Arlington bar in May, asking "Did you like it?" She then testified that she confronted the officer, pushing and punching Krusinski. In his mug shot, Krusinski looks like he's been pretty thoroughly beaten up. The case was one in a string of alleged sexual assault incidents in the military by officers in charge of preventing it

The jury handed down an acquittal despite testimony from multiple witnesses, including another woman who says Krusinski groped her before approaching the woman in question. The defense, it seemed, successfully convinced the jury that inconsistencies in the woman's account of events were enough to warrant reasonable doubt. Those inconsistencies centered around how many times the woman punched Krusinski after the alleged groping. The defense also suggested that because Krusinski was drunk at the time of the alleged incident, any contact between the two was accidental. 

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