Army's top sex crimes prosecutor accused of sex assault

Mar 7, 2014 4:14 AM

WASHINGTON (CBS) - The U.S. Army is investigating sexual abuse allegations against its top prosecutor of abuse cases.

Lt. Col. Joseph Morse led the prosecution team in the case of Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, who pled guilty to the mass murder of 16 Afghan civilians.

More recently, he was in charge of the Army's special victims prosecutors, the lawyers who prosecute sexual assault, domestic abuse and crimes against children.

But he is now suspended from his job because a female Army lawyer recently alleged that in 2011, he tried to kiss and grope her in a hotel room during a legal conference on, of all things, sexual assault.

The investigation is not yet complete, and so far, no charges have been brought. Morse has made no comment.

The Morse case sounds strikingly similar to that of Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski, the former head of sexual assault prevention for the Air Force. Krusinski was charged with groping a woman outside a nightclub last year. He was tried in civilian court and acquitted. He is still in the Air Force, but officials expect he will be forced to retire.

Whatever the outcome of the Morse case, it will feed the perception that when it comes to sexual assault, the military can't do anything right.

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