Air Force sexual battery highlights growing problem in military
The arrest of the man heading up the Air Force’s Sexual Assault and Prevention Division is causing shock waves through the military system.
Lt. Col. Jeff Krusinski is accused of groping a woman in Arlington and now even President Obama is responding to the case.
An acquaintance of the victim says the girl, who lives in Arlington and is in her mid-twenties, is doing OK. But the case is highlighting a growing and ugly problem in the military.
Several days after the incident happened in front of Freddie’s Beach Bar in Crystal City, the owner, Freddie Lutz, is speaking out.
I think it’s unfortunate,” says Lutz. “Sometimes when people are drinking… it’s hard to say what goes through their heads.”
Lt. Col. Krusinski is the man at the center of it all.
Lutz says Krusinski initially tried to grab one of his servers on the street before police say the drunken 41 year old groped a woman on the cell phone on the sidewalk. He tried to touch her again when she fought back, and by the looks of Krusinski’s mug shot, she fought hard.
“I think that’s a great stand for any woman. That’s what we should do. That’s why we carry mace,” says Haven Wynne.
Krusinski was commissioned by the Air Force in 1994 as a personnel officer. He started as the head of Sexual Assault and Prevention in February 2013, earning a salary of $132,000, according to court records.
President Obama Wednesday was asked about the alleged assault.
“If we find out somebody’s engaging in this stuff, they’ve got to be held accountable, prosecuted, stripped of their positions, court-martialed, fired, dishonorably discharged — period," the president says.
Meanwhile, the Defense Department is responding in light of a new report showing a 33-percent increase in military assaults in the past two years.
“We’re all outraged and disgusted over these very troubling allegations," says Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
The Air Force requested to take over the legal case against Krusinski, but the Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney has decided to handle the case on its own, although the Air Force may assist in the investigation.
Krusinski is out of jail and will face an arraignment hearing on Thursday.