I was going to say something snarky about this, but honestly — words just fail me.

37 Responses to “NBC News reports AF Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office boss arrested for sexual assault”

  1. Torch says:

    Priceless.  This is not the headline the Air Force needed right now.  Wow. 

  2. SFC V says:

    “If I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn’t be more surprised than I am now.” – clark Griswold
     
     

  3. Charlie Gittins says:

    Wow.  Just, wow.

  4. BCC says:

    Words escape me on this.

  5. Ex TC says:

    Will be interesting to see if the AF takes this to trial.  Not sure who the CA for such a case would be, but I bet they hate that prospect. They don’t need Virginia’s permission though double dipping is pretty rare. Though the AF certainly need to appear tough on sexual assaults. How bad would a BOI or quick retirement look in this case. 

  6. Vic Ferrari says:

    There are certainly those here with longer USAF pedigrees than me, but I’m trying to think of a case with a worse optic for the USAF than this right now.  Simply unbelievable. 

  7. stewie says:

    So if you wanted to paint a picture of how bad the military handles sexual assaults, I believe somewhere it would contain the mug shot of this LTC.
     
    You can say it’s a black mark for the AF, but somehow I think all the services are going to feel the pain from this one.

  8. WWJD says:

    “I’m trying to think of a case with a worse optic for the USAF than this right now.”
     
    Vic – Fiscus and Murphy.  Not sure if they are worse, would be an interesting poll.  Nobody beats the Boys in Blue in the Hypocrisy Department.

  9. Advocaat says:

    My hunch is there will be an announcement before the end of the week that at least one AF 3 or 4 star is going to step down or be removed.  I hope the woman involved is OK and that DoD stays out of the way so Arlington can handle the criminal case as fairly as possible.

  10. ResIpsaLoquitur says:

    Air Force justice policy is “to maximize jurisdiction to the fullest extent.”  By policy, the AF should be requesting to handle the case.  It’ll be interesting to find out whether Arlington’s just going to keep the case, or if the AF will try to get the case, or if pressure from on high will demand that the AF just let Arlington take it.  Do any AFDW practitioners out there know if Arlington tends to give up jurisdiction?

  11. AF CMJ says:

    AF policy is to maximize jurisdiction and this it should be requested. If denied, SECAF is the approval authority to proceed with UCMJ against a member whom the civilians have also proceeded (or are proceeding) against (see AFI 51-201 para. 2.6). I doubt the locals give this one up, but if they don’t, personally I’d press my boss to be requesting SECAF approval to court-martial him anyway. This just could have have happened at a worse moment.
    On a related topic, I’d appreciate other poster’s thoughts on SECDEF’s comments and any potential UCI issues to be explored in voir dire.

  12. AF CMJ says:

    If not obvious from context, I meant to say ‘could not have happened at a worse moment.’ Damn iPhone.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The AF should go for the gold–get a conviction at a GCM and then have the CA disapprove the entire thing.

  14. Phil Cave says:

    Why not back off and let the civilians handle it.  That’s what the civilians and politicians want.  It’s not as if the allegations aren’t being investigated.
    There’s all kinds of bad things that can be done to the lt col short of a court-martial once the civilians have had their way with him.

  15. AF Capt says:

    I’m inclined to agree with PC.  If the locals want to take it, I don’t think it makes sense to double dip on this.  The only rationale for running with both jurisdictions prosecuting is to make the AF look good.  Against this, there are so many ways for mil jus to come out looking worse than the civ jus, all of which are possible with members who wouldn’t like the double dip: convicted on an LIO, sentenced to less time, jury nullification (!)…

  16. k fischer says:

    Heard this story on the radio this morning before the gym.  My first cynical thought was whether he was put in charge as punishment and to teach him a lesson because he previously displayed a bad attitude towards sexual assault.  Kind of like putting the someone who has made racist comments in charge of EO, so that he can be trained on how to not think like a racist who makes racist remarks.
     
    Note to Air Force:  When you put someone in charge of preventing sexual assault, hire a competent person in a demographic who doesn’t make up 99% of those accused of sexual assault, i.e. hire a woman and give her Senator Sanchez and Senator Gillibrand’s cell phone number.
     
    Note to Secretary Hagel:  If Lt. Col. Krusinski gets charged at court-martial, look out for the request to interview you for a UCI motion. 
     
    Note to Sen. Gillibrand:  I seriously hope that the parking lot had CCTV and it filmed the incident and it shows that Krusinski did not assault the woman, but instead was the victim of a violent attack, in which his assailant subsequently filed a false assault charge.  Even though I seriously doubt that factual situation occurred because the report makes it sound like it was a jump out from behind a car assault in which the victim acted counter-counter-intuitively and immediately reported the assault to the police, Lt. Col. Krusinski is still presumed innocent.
     
    Note to the TC handling the case:  Have AFOSI find more victims.  A guy who randomly grabs an unknown woman’s genetalia  should have more victims out there.  Of course, this will make the AF look really bad, but there are a few Senators who will have your back if you get pressure to de-emphasize the mistake it was to put this guy in charge by only prosecuting him for this one incident.

  17. Ex TC says:

    But if the civilians handle it, does it make it look even worse that the AF cannot even prosecute its own, let alone keep the convictions when it does? Sure there are a thousand ways for mil jus to come out worse (worse here sounds odd b/c I think it translates above into “defense friendly” outcome which isn’t always “worse), but that is the system Congress gave us. 
    If this is handled via admin channels, doesn’t that give people more ammo that the military cannot handle its own problems – the head of the SA programs commits sex assault and then the military cannot even handle that because of the fear that its own military justice system is so weak that it could lead to a politically embarassing outcome? How does that sit with victims (and their laywers and politicians) who have only the military to prosecute their alleged attacker, vice a state. If the AF cannot pull this one together, it will impact everyone.

  18. k fischer says:

    The estimate of unreported sexual assaults are up from 19,000 to 26,000

  19. Dew_Process says:

    SEXUAL BATTERY, 05/05/13, 500 block of S. 23rd Street. On May 5 at 12:35 am, a drunken male subject approached a female victim in a parking lot and grabbed her breasts and buttocks. The victim fought the suspect off as he attempted to touch her again and alerted police. Jeffrey Krusinski, 41, of Arlington, VA, was arrested and charged with sexual battery. He was held on a $5,000 unsecured bond.
    http://news.arlingtonva.us/crime-report:-may-6-2013 
     
    This is pretty putrid, but the the pedigree still has to be the AF TJAG, Fiscus’s fiascos.  Even with BG Jeffrey Sinclair’s peccadillos:
    http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/12/sinclair/
     
    MEMO TO DC:   Fight like hell to have the State authorities retain jurisdiction.  He might then get a fair trial or a decent plea offer.
     
    But, this isn’t the whole AF story for the day!  As we used to say back in the day, “some of those folks were flying too high for too long without their oxygen masks!”
     

    Air Force Brochure Tells Sexual Assault  Victims to ‘Submit’

    http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2013/05/air-force-sexual-assault-brochure/

     

    I suspect that some of the outrage being spewed by the high and mighty (aside from political CYA) is contempt for Krusinski for letting a woman beat the crap out of him.  So much for the touted AF “Warrior” image.

     

  20. nw says:

    As a criminal defense guy, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.  As an Airman, all I can say is, on behalf of the entire United States Air Force, I’m sorry we’re f-ing everything up for the rest of you as well.

  21. Christopher Mathews says:

    D_P:  Whoever okayed that brochure had best have a paper trail showing that it represents policy, rather than just their own personal notions of what would be a good idea.

    On the other hand, maybe now we can dial down the sneering at the idea that “lack of resistance” does not equal “consent.”

  22. Random SWO says:

    Interesting that we’ll have a flap over the AF brochure when I’ve seen brochures from various colleges and rape centers say essentially the same thing.

    http://well.wvu.edu/articles/rape_myths_and_facts
    http://www.rccmsc.org/faq.aspx

  23. SFC V says:

    It is very common advice given to women to not resist their attacker because it will only make it worse.  The Air Force didn’t come up with that one on their own.  I am not a fan of that strategy.
     
    If you really wanted to reduce sexual assault you would focus on things other than the justice system like reducing risky behavior like alcohol consumption.  In the vast majority of sexual assaults the victim and perpetrator know each other.  
     
    When you say sexual assault many people conjur up images of some creep going around violently assaulting random women.  But the reality is that the victim and perpetrator most often knw each other and there was alcohol involved.  Too often when peope talk about risk factors they are accused of blaming the victim.  There is a huge difference in talking about ways that can reduce the likelyhood of something and blaming the victim when it happens. 
     
    As long as certain politicians think the only solution resides in the justice system there will be no solution as its only preventative ability is deterrence (very limited effect in common sexual assault situations). 

  24. AF CMJ says:

    Know I’m preaching to the choir, but I still feel compelled to echo what SFC V said. DoD has a major PA problem in that we’ve aided and abetted well-meaning, but uninformed victim advocate types (I’ll choose to believe they aren’t willfully avoiding the truth) and grand-standing members of congress create and perpetuate myths about the nature and prevalence of sexual offenses in DoD. It does a disservice to all involved. To analogize this to terms our operational folks would track with, we can kill (prosecute) our way out of this battle; we have to change culture. But the culture is American, not Military. I’m 29; a lot of the cases I see remind me of situations I encountered in true dorms or at parties in college/law school. Of my 5 best friends from this period (all civilians with no mil affiliation), i can think of sexual decisions 4 made under the influence of alcohol that raised no eyebrows at the time, but would probably have then at a 32 in our system. I don’t think these guys are conscious offenders, but they are serial bad decision-makers when alcohol is involved. That’s not to denigrate complainants or minimize the fact that we do have crime, but so much of this starts out as just plain bad decision-making on the part of all involved. My point is not to exculpate offenders (or my college buddies), but to echo SFC V’s point that we have to focus on prevention. We have to be able to talk to our young Airmen more forcefully about high-risk behavior as it relates to victimization.
     
    My rant…goodnight.

  25. ResIpsaLoquitur says:

    Or maybe the military could re-institute mandatory basic self-defense classes again.  Then again, I heard that we did away with them because “people were getting hurt.”  (Sigh.)

  26. A. Hernandez says:

    The County is going forward with the case.
    “Theo Stamos, prosecutor for Arlington County, Virginia, said the military had requested jurisdiction of the case, but the county intended to keep it.”
    http://newsandinsight.thomsonreuters.com/Legal/News/2013/05_-_May/U_S__Air_Force_sexual_assault_case_to_be_handled_by_civilian_court/
     

  27. charlie gittins says:

    Of course Arlington is going to take jurisdiction.  This stupid misdemeanor is going to dominate the news cycle with satellite trucks up and down the roads surrounding the Arlington County Courthouse; what better tonic for a prosecutor’s career?  There is no downside for the prosecutror’s office  — or the prosecutor’s career.

  28. TC says:

    Charlie,
    So what should the posecutor do?  Let this guy go with a warning because this “stupid misdemeanor” is going to get more media coverage than it deserves?  Let the military handle it?  It took place off base with a civilian victim.  Media coverage or not, what possible reason is there for the civilians to give up this case?

  29. Christopher Mathews says:

    TC, you never want to ask Charlie what he thinks prosecutors should do … unless you’re looking for a colorful and anatomically-impossible response.

  30. TC says:

    A very good point.  And I’ve done my share of complaining about cases that have no business going forward.  But the suggestion that this prosecutor is only pursuing charges (against the drunken sexual-assaulter who’s targeting strangers in parking lots) because of the media interest got me a little worked up.

  31. Charlie Gittins says:

    My question would be, how many times has Arlington County turned down a military request for jurisdiction in a misdemeanor case?  Fort Myer is right around the corner and I have never heard of it happening over a military request, back when I was doing MJ work for a living.  Arlington County charged a misdemeanor, which will result in no jail– first offense, no criminal history, mitigation (I am sure it is not as cut and dried as it sounds).  The military will throw the book at the good LtCol, if they were to get ahold of him, and he’d get the potential for real punishment. 
    And, CM is right, by the way. 

  32. TC says:

    My mistake, I didn’t realize you’d never heard of Arlington County turning down a request for military jurisdiction.  Obviously this prosecutor must be a media whore.  It’s not like there’s any reason the civilians might have to doubt the USAF’s seriousness about prosecuting an O-5 for sexual assault.

  33. Dew_Process says:

    It was inevitable, but I dedicate this to CG:
     


     

  34. Charlie Gittins says:

    Dew:  That video is a riot.  I nearly wet my pants laughing when I first saw it.
    TC:  Media whore?  Really?  I just figured out that the prosecutor was a she.  Poor choice of words, my friend, poor choice of words.  And not words I would ever use in that context given her gender.  I am nothing if not attuned to the world of PC these days. But, thank you for the lesson nonetheless.  

  35. TC says:

    Charlie,
    Color me impressed.  You really are attuned to the world of political correctness if you’ve figured out how to tell the difference between a “she” and a he.

  36. Charlie Gittins says:

    TC:  Thanks.  It doesn’t seem to matter any more — male or female.  Everyone can serve, gays, lesbians, we’re a big tent and cumbaya, cumbaya.  I was of course referring to your choice of “media whore” in the context of a female prosecutor.  Somewhat tone deaf, eh?