ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) - An Air Force officer who once led the branch's sex assault response team has pleaded not guilty as his trial begins on charges that he groped a woman outside a Crystal City bar.
Forty-two-year-old Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski was initially charged with misdemeanor sexual battery. But Arlington County prosecutors subsequently dropped the sexual battery charge and substituted a misdemeanor assault and battery charge.
Commonwealth's Attorney Theo Stamos says a generic assault charge was more appropriate given the standard of proof required for a sexual battery conviction.
The woman told police that Krusinski grabbed her breast and buttocks on May 5.
The Air Force removed Krusinski from his Sexual Assault Prevention and Response unit post after his arrest became public.
The trial is expected to last several days.