May 7, 2013

Lt. Col. Jeff Krusinski, via Arlington VA County Police department.

You know how you can tell just how seriously the military takes sexual assault in the ranks by the kind of people they put in charge of investigating allegations and enforcing the rules:

ARLINGTON, Va. — The chief of the Air Force’s sexual assault prevention and response branch was arrested this weekend and charged with sexual battery.

Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski, 41, of Arlington, Va., was arrested Sunday morning, according to the Arlington police. He’s accused of approaching a woman in a parking lot and grabbing her breasts and buttocks, according to the crime report. He has been removed from his position, an Air Force spokeswoman said on condition of anonymity.

Krusinski heads up the Air Force’s sexual assault prevention and response branch, an Air Force spokeswoman confirmed.

Krusinski has served in Afghanistan, in addition to serving as the deputy expeditionary mission support group commander at Joint Base Balad in Iraq, and commander of 6th Force Support Squadron at MacGill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla. He attended the U.S. Air Force Academy, where he lettered in baseball.

The Air Force has recently come under fire for a decision by a lieutenant general to throw out the sexual assault conviction of fighter pilot Lt. Col. James Wilkerson. Wilkerson, 44, the former inspector general for the 31st Fighter Wing at Aviano Air Base in Italy, was convicted last year of aggravated sexual assault and sentenced to a year in jail, forfeiture of pay and dismissal from the Air Force. Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin overturned the sentence and reinstated Wilkerson into the Air Force.

Additionally, more than a dozen training instructors at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, the Air Force’s basic training facility, have been convicted of misconduct with trainees, from fraternization to sexual assault. More cases are still under investigation.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III has emphasized preventing sexual assault and sexual harassment and respect among airmen since he took over the job last year.

“Every time I hear about another case, it breaks my heart,” he said in a video posted on the Air Force’s sexual assault prevention website. “You know what right looks like.”

If his heart is that broken, he needs to get these cases away from the chain of command and investigate every case this guy handled. Because having someone like this in charge might have resulted in his having been a tiny bit, um, biased in his conclusions, yes?

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