Sexual battery charge dropped against former sex assault prevention officer

Krusinski was charged with sexual battery in May after Arlington County police accused him of grabbing a woman’s breast and buttocks.

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The case generated national headlines and widespread outrage in Congress, with members pointing to the Air Force’s top sexual assault prevention office being charged with sexual battery as a clear example that the military was out of touch dealing with sexual assault.

Soon after Krusinski’s charges were made public, the Pentagon released a report estimating there were 26,000 sexual assaults last year, up from 19,000 in 2010. The confluence of events sparked a flurry of legislation from lawmakers to reform the military’s sexual assault policies.

Krusinski’s attorney, Barry Coburn, said in a statement that prosecutors exercised proper discretion and care in dropping the sexual battery charge, while maintaining that Krusinski is not guilty of any crime.

“Charging decisions such as this one must be based on the facts and the law of each individual case, not on politics or the desire to have a ‘teachable moment’ concerning issues such as sexual abuse in the military,” Coburn said.

Coburn also complained about the attention that Krusinski’s case received because of his position as sexual assault prevention chief. He was removed from his post after he was charged.

“It is noteworthy that the reason this case became highly publicized was the combination of Col. Krusinski’s job responsibilities in the Air Force and the fact that he initially was arrested for misdemeanor sexual battery,” Coburn said.

“This sequence of events hopefully will, in the future, give all of us, particularly persons of great responsibility, pause before we make premature judgments about pending criminal cases before trial, particularly cases involving individuals who have devoted their entire professional lives to military service.”