As the Air force tries to regain some dignity after the branch was rocked by the Lackland sex scandal, they’ve taken another blow from an unlikely source. The newly appointed branch chief of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program was arrested on Sunday and charged with sexual assault. The Arlington, VA Police released the crime report of the incident on Monday it states:
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.
In March, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered an investigation into how the military handles sexual assault cases after an Air Force general overturned the rape conviction of fellow officer. The Air Force has also faced growing criticism over the way it has dealt with the epidemic of rape, especially after the Lackland scandal, in which 60 members came forward with rape allegations. The Defense Department reported 3,192 allegations of sexual assault involving service members in 2011; however, the number is much higher than that as only about 17% of victims actually report the rape. That means that in reality there were about 19,000 assaults in 2011. When asked about the newest case, Hagel promised it would be dealt with in a swift and decisive manner according to the Pentagon.
The Air Force reported that they’ve Krunsinski from his duties as of Monday. Krunsinski had just started running his five-person department in February. It is especially disturbing that a man in charge of preventing sexual assault has now been arrested for perpetrating the very same crime.
“Our core values and respect are the foundation of our wingman culture — a culture in which we look out for each other and take care of each other. Incidents of sexual assault corrode the very fabric of our wingman culture; therefore, we must strive for an environment where this type of behavior is not tolerated and where all Airmen are respected.”
Indeed, sexual assault does absolutely corrode the fabric of the culture. It is definitely no secret that the military’s response to sexual assault is lacking, to put it lightly. A documentary called “The Invisible War” released in 2012 shines a glaring light on this issue. The documentary is not for the faint of heart and is extremely hard to watch, but very necessary for understanding the extent of the issue..
Here’s the video:
This problem has been allowed to run rampant at every level of government and in every branch in the military for years. While the Air Force’s quick respose to this new case is promising, and Hagel’s investigation is welcomed, rooting out sexual assault is going to be a very long process. Krunsinski’s crime shouldn’t perhaps be held against or belittle the strides that the military is making but it sure does highlight what a problem this has become. Who do you trust when the person in charge of responding to sexual assault is arrested for it?