Local Air Force Officer Found Not Guilty in Assault Case

The jury’s decision comes as the Senate refocuses on sexual assault in the military.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) speaks while U.S. military leaders testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee on pending legislation regarding sexual assaults in the military June 4, 2013.
Win McNamee/Getty Images
Jordain Carney
Nov. 13, 2013, 1:33 p.m.

Air Force Lt. Col. Jef­frey Krus­in­ski was ac­quit­ted of mis­de­mean­or as­sault and bat­tery charges by a jury on Wed­nes­day, a Wash­ing­ton NBC af­fil­i­ate re­ports.

Krus­in­ski was ac­cused of grop­ing three wo­men at a bar in Crys­tal City, Va., earli­er this year. The in­cid­ent got him re­moved from the Air Force’s Sexu­al As­sault Pre­ven­tion and Re­sponse unit.

The jury’s de­cision comes as Con­gress turns its at­ten­tion back to sexu­al as­sault in the mil­it­ary. Gen. Ray Odi­erno, the Army chief of staff, on Wed­nes­day called an amend­ment by Sen. Kirsten Gil­librand, D-N.Y., a “big mis­take,” The Wall Street Journ­al re­ports. Gil­librand is push­ing to re­move mil­it­ary com­mand­ers’ over­sight au­thor­ity dur­ing fed­er­al pro­sec­u­tions, which she has ar­gued can lead to un­der­re­port­ing of sexu­al-as­sault cases out of fear of re­tri­bu­tion.

Al­though her amend­ment to the Na­tion­al De­fense Au­thor­iz­a­tion Act was de­feated in the Sen­ate Armed Ser­vices Com­mit­tee, she could try to add it to the bill when the Sen­ate takes it up, which it is ex­pec­ted be­fore the Thanks­giv­ing re­cess.

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