The sergeant first class, who was assigned to the Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) program, is not being named at this time and has not been charged, according to the Army statement . The soldier was immediately suspended from all duties once the allegations were made.
Col . Jeffrey Krusinski allegedly approached a woman in a parking lot and grabbed her breasts and buttocks at 12:35 am on May 5, according to a report of the incident released by the Arlington, Va., police department.
Last week, the Department of Defense also released6 its annual report7 on sexual assaults across all branches of the military . While 3,374 incidents of unwanted sexual contact had occurred in the 2012 fiscal year, an anonymous survey found that 26,000 respondents had been sexually assaulted during that same timeframe .
That is a dramatic increase from the previous year when 19,000 said they had been assaulted.
DoD press secretary George Little said in a statement8 that Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel had been informed of the Army s investigation and directed all of the services to re-train, re-credential and re-screen all sexual assault prevention and response personnel and military recruiters.
I cannot convey strongly enough his frustration, anger, and disappointment over these troubling allegations and the breakdown in discipline and standards they imply, Little said.
Rep . Niki Tsongas (D-Mass.), who co-chairs the Military Sexual Assault Prevention Caucus and recently introduced legislation to change military policy, denounced the latest scandal in a statement.
It has become painfully evident that saying the military has a cultural problem in regard to sexual assault and sexual misconduct, is a glaring understatement, Tsongas said . At worst, this is a deep-rooted and widespread acceptance of unprofessional, inappropriate and criminal behavior .
At best, it is willful denial or head-turning on the part of too many military leaders.
The Pentagon said in a statement that the Army was investigating allegations of abusive sexual contact and assault against the sergeant, who had served as a coordinator for an anti-sexual-harassment program, according to Bloomberg’s2 Michael Shepard.
The sergeant first class, who was not named, was also accused of forcing at least one subordinate into prostitution, according to USA Today.
U.S . Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel learned about the allegations earlier today and ordered a full review of the matter, according to Bloomberg3 . The sergeant has been removed from duty, reports the AP4.
Earlier this month, the Air Force’s top officer in charge of preventing sexual assault was arrested under suspicion of sexual battery .
The officer, Lt .
Col. Jeff Krusinski, was allegedly inebriated and groped a woman in a parking lot, who managed to fight him off.
By Eric W . Dolan
Monday, May 6, 2013 16:49 EDT
Col . Jeff Krusinski described as a drunken male allegedly approached a women around 12:35 a.m . in a parking lot, and groped her breasts and butt .
The women fought him off, but Krusinski tried to grab her again . The victim did not know 41-year-old man.
Police arrived at the scene and Krusinski was arrested for sexual battery . He was held on a $5,000 bond.
Police could not confirm how he received the minor injuries.
The Air Force has faced growing criticism over its response to sexual assault and harassment.
In March, Lt . General Craig Franklin overturned a fellow officer s sexual assault conviction . The incident prompted Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to order a review of U.S .
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