Officials at Arlington County, Va., said they will prosecute Air Force Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski, who is charged with sexual battery. (Arlington County Police Department)
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The prosecutor for Arlington County, Va., has declined an Air Force request to transfer jurisdiction of the case against a former sexual assault prevention chief charged with sexual battery.
Lt. Col. Jeff Krusinski, 41, had been head of the Air Force’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office for just two months when he was arrested on May 5 for allegedly grabbing a woman in a Crystal City parking lot, according to a police report on the incident. He was removed from his position following his arrest and his arraignment is slated for 2 p.m. on Thursday.
“It occurred in Arlington County on the streets of Arlington; Arlington police were involved; it was not in conjunction with any military work, and this individual, as I understand it, [was] in civilian capacity of the streets of Arlington County so there didn’t seem to me to be any reason that we wouldn’t go forward,” said Commonwealth Attorney Theo Stamos.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh told lawmakers on Tuesday that the Air Force would request jurisdiction, “which is standard practice in cases like these.”
But Stamos, who has been a prosecutor for 27 years, has tried many service members and this is the first time she’s received a request to transfer jurisdiction.
“It never occurred to me that a request would have been made so we were proceeding with our prosecution and then I got a phone call from the Air Force asking for us not to go forward and for them to go forward with the prosecution,” she said.
An Air Force instruction gives the service the option of also putting Krusinski on trial in a military court, said Eric Sharman, a spokesman for the 11th Wing at Joint Base Andrews, Md.
“He can still be prosecuted under the UCMJ because an accused person can be tried by a state and a federal court (UCMJ is considered federal) for the same crime,” Sharman said in an email.
Krusinski could face up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine if convicted, Stamos said. His trial date is also expected to be set on Thursday.
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