In a sadly ironic turn of events, a high-ranking officer in charge of the military’s Sexual Assault Prevention Program has been arrested for sexual abuse.
Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski, chief of the Air Force Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program, was arrested early Sunday morning in Arlington, VA. According to a police press release, a drunken Krusinski approached the female victim in a parking lot, grabbing her breasts and buttocks. He was held on a $5,000 unsecured bond.
The arrest comes at an unfortunate time for military officials, who’ve been battling allegations of wide-spread sexual assault and misconduct within the ranks. The Air Force in particular has faced a number of scandals, most notably at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas where almost 60 potential victims came forward with reports of sexual misconduct. In a 2011 Defense Department report, an estimate 19,000 service-members were victims of sexual abuse.
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel expressed his “outrage and disgust” after learning about Krusinski’s arrest. He emphasized the incident would be dealt with in an expeditious manner. While Senator Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY), a member of the Armed Services Committee, called the allegations “extremely disturbing.”
According to NBC News, the Air Force has removed Lt.Col. Krusinski from his command, as he is awaiting an investigation into the allegations.