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Jury Acquits Air Force Officer Accused of Groping

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) -- A jury has acquitted an Air Force officer who once led the branch's sexual assault response team on charges that he groped a woman outside a Virginia bar.

The seven-member jury deliberated about an hour after hearing closing arguments Wednesday in the misdemeanor assault case against 42-year-old Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski. His arrest fueled a national furor over sexual abuse in the military and whether top brass take the issue seriously.

A 23-year-old woman testified that Krusinski grabbed her backside on May 5 outside the Crystal City bar.

Defense lawyers argued that there were inconsistencies in her story. She admitted punching Krusinski a few times in retaliation, while other witnesses described seeing her hit him countless times.

Prosecutors said the jury should not be distracted by what happened after the alleged grope.


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