Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski has sexual battery charge dropped

(AP/ABC7) - Arlington County prosecutors have dropped a sexual battery charge against an Air Force officer who led the branch's sexual assault response unit.

A trial had been scheduled Thursday for 41-year-old Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski. Before the trial began, Commonwealth Attorney Theo Stamos said the sexual battery charge will be dropped and substituted with a generic assault charge.

Stamos said after the hearing as new facts emerged, charging Krusinski with a sex offense was no longer appropriate.

Defense attorney Barry Coburn said he appreciated prosecutors' review of the case. He said Krusinski will plead not guilty to the assault charge.

“We very much appreciate the care and diligence with which these prosecutors reached the conclusion that a sex offense could not legitimately be charged in this case,” Krasinski’s lawyers said in a statement.

The assault charge will carry the same potential punishment as sexual battery.

Police say Krusinski groped a woman in a Crystal City parking lot in May.