Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski will have his day in court on July 18.
Krusinski, the Air Force officer who was in charge of sexual assault prevention but has himself been charged with groping a woman, appeared at the Arlington County, Virginia, courthouse Thursday afternoon to receive a trial date.
Krusinski arrived with his lawyer and said nothing to the reporters swarming around him and shouting questions, either on his way in our out of the building. His lawyer, Sheryl Shane, would only tell reporters, “No comment.”
His case has garnered national attention. Days before the Pentagon released a report finding sexual-assault reports in the military rose from 3,192 in 2011 to 3,374 in 2012, Krusinski was accused of groping a woman in a parking lot in Northern Virginia at 12:35 a.m. on Sunday.
The Pentagon released its report on Tuesday, and Krusinski’s case has brought even more negative attention to the U.S. military and its problems with sexual assault.
Inside the courtroom, Krusinski did not enter a plea. Asked if he understood he has been charged with sexual battery, Krusinski told Judge Richard J. McCue, “Yes, your honor.” They were the only words Krusinski said audibly while in public.
McCue swatted away a request for a later court date after Shane contended that public interest in the case would mean it would take longer to prepare a defense. Shane asked the judge for an October court date – much later than the prosecution’s request for a trial beginning the week of July 15.
“I don’t think that the level of public interest has any bearing,” McCue told her, setting a date of July 18 at 2 p.m.
After passing again through a swarm of reporters on their way out of the courthouse, Krusinski and his lawyer got in a black BMW and drove away, still saying nothing in response to questions shouted at them.