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Air Force lieutenant colonel acquitted of groping woman in parking lot

By Alison Harding, CNN
updated 9:01 PM EST, Wed November 13, 2013
Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski was acquitted of assault stemming from an incident in a parking lot not far from the Pentagon.
Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski was acquitted of assault stemming from an incident in a parking lot not far from the Pentagon.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Former chief of Air Force sexual assault prevention program acquitted of groping
  • Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski was accused of grabbing a woman in a parking lot
  • "The system worked, which is always a good thing to see," his attorney says

(CNN) -- The former head of an Air Force sexual assault prevention program was acquitted Wednesday of an assault charge stemming from an incident in Arlington, Virginia, last spring, his lawyer confirmed to CNN.

Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski, 42, was arrested in May and accused of grabbing a woman's buttocks and breasts in a parking lot in Arlington County, not far from the Pentagon. A police report said the unidentified woman fought off her assailant, who appeared intoxicated.

Krusinski was initially charged with sexual battery, but prosecutors later changed that charge to assault and battery, according to CNN affiliate WJLA.

"We are very gratified by the verdict and gratified by the very serious consideration the jury gave to this matter," defense attorney Barry Coburn told CNN. "The system worked, which is always a good thing to see."

Krusinski, a 1994 graduate of the Air Force Academy who served tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan, was the chief of a branch of the Air Force's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program at the time of the incident. He was removed from that post after his arrest, which came two days before the Pentagon released a report showing a 6% year-over-year increase in the number of reported sexual assault cases within the military in the fiscal year that ended September 30, 2012.

Coburn said it was unclear what the acquittal would mean for Krusinski's Air Force career.

CNN's Larry Shaughnessy contributed to this report.

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