Arlington County prosecutors dropped a sexual battery charge Thursday against the former chief of the Air Force’s sexual-assault prevention branch, saying they plan instead to seek to indict him on a regular assault charge.

Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski was arrested in May after being accused of grabbing a woman’s breasts and buttocks in the parking lot outside a strip of restaurants and bars in Crystal City, not far from the Pentagon and his apartment.

At the time, Krusinski was chief of the Air Force’s sexual assault-prevention branch, and the incident came as the Pentagon reported a surge in the number of sexual assaults and related crimes on military personnel. An Air Force spokeswoman said Krusinski was assigned to another job after his arrest.

Both sexual battery and assault and battery are Class 1 misdemeanors, though the assault and battery charge does not require prosecutors to prove a sexual component.

An Air Force spokeswoman said Krusinski now works doing personnel analysis, and Air Force officials would wait until his legal proceedings were over to take any action. Court records show that Air Force officials conducted or are conducting some type of internal investigation into the incident.

Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski, who led the Air Force's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response unit, leaving the Arlington County General District Court on July 18. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)