An Arlington County, Va., District Court judge set a July 18 trial date for a lieutenant colonel who ran the U.S. Air Force Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office and was charged with sexual battery over the weekend.
Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski, 41, maintained a stoic facial expression throughout his arraignment Thursday afternoon. He spoke only to answer that he does understand the charge against him.
Sheryl Shane, Krusinski's lawyer, pushed for a September trial date because the media attention focused on the case, but Judge Richard J. McCue rejected that argument and denied the request, News4's Mark Segraves reported.
Shane told the judge the case is not as cut-and-dry as prosecutors would have people believe. She also said the case will last longer than one day because of the number of witnesses she plans to call and she asked for time to hire a private investigator.
Police allowed Krusinski to leave the courthouse through a private exit to avoid the media, but he went back in the courthouse and told police he wanted to walk past the cameras again, Segraves reported. Mobbed by reporters, Krusinski remained silent.
Krusinski approached a woman in a parking lot in the Crystal City area and grabbed her breasts and buttocks about 12:30 a.m. Sunday, police said. He was drunk, according to the police report.
The victim fought him off — leaving scratches on his face — and called police.
Krusinski was from his post, which he'd held since February, pending the outcome of an investigation. An Air Force spokesperson told Segraves Krusinski remains on active duty and has been moved to a new position within the same organization.
The misdemeanor charge carries a maximum penalty of 12 months in prison and a $2,500 fine.
Depending on the outcome of the trial, Krusinski could face military discipline, including court martial. That decision is up to the secretary of the Air Force and won't come until after the civilian trial.