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.