An Air Force officer who led the branch's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response unit has been charged with groping a woman in a northern Virginia parking lot, authorities said Monday.
His arrest underscored the urgent problem of sexual assault in the military, as the Pentagon prepared to release its annual report Tuesday. That report is expected to show an alarming rise in the number of people anonymously saying they have been the victim of unreported assaults, NBC News reported.
Arlington County Police said Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski of Arlington faces a misdemeanor charge of sexual battery following an alleged assault about 12:30 a.m. Sunday in the Crystal City area of the county.
A police report says that the 41-year-old Krusinski was drunk and grabbed a woman's breast and buttocks. Police say the woman fought him off and called police.
Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck says Krusinski did not know the woman involved.
Susie Doyle, a spokeswoman for the Arlington County Sheriff's Office, said Krusinski was released Sunday on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond. An arraignment is scheduled for Thursday.
A working phone number for Krusinski could not be found Monday and court records did not list an attorney.
Air Force spokeswoman Natasha Waggoner said Krusinski was removed from his post in the sexual assault unit after the Air Force learned of his arrest. He started in the post in February.
An Air Force website says the "Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program reinforces the Air Force's commitment to eliminate incidents of sexual assault through awareness and prevention training, education, victim advocacy, response, reporting and accountability."
The website continues: "Sexual assault is criminal conduct. It falls well short of the standards America expects of its men and women in uniform."