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Crime & Courts

Sexual battery charged dropped for Air Force officer; assault charge to be substituted

Virginia prosecutors have dropped a sexual battery charge against an Air Force officer who led the military branch's sexual assault response unit.

A trial had been scheduled Thursday for 41-year-old Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski. Before the trial began, Commonwealth Attorney Theo Stamos said the sexual battery charge will be dropped and substituted with a generic assault charge.

Stamos said after the hearing that as new facts emerged, charging Krusinski with a sex offense was no longer appropriate.

Defense attorney Barry Coburn said he appreciated prosecutors' review of the case. He said Krusinski will plead not guilty to the assault charge.

The assault charge will carry the same potential punishment as sexual battery.

Police say Krusinski groped a woman in a Crystal City parking lot in May.

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