Underage sex with GJPD officer ‘too many times to count,’ woman testifies

ERIC JANUSZ: Accused of sexual assault while on duty for Grand Junction police

Eric Janusz’s alleged on-the-job sexual interest in young women apparently wasn’t a secret in the ranks of the Grand Junction Police Department in 2000, according to testimony this morning.

During their second meeting in July 2000 at the former Mesa State College police substation, the accuser in Janusz’s sexual-assault trial testified this morning she and a uniformed Janusz were briefly interrupted by an unnamed officer, who walked into the substation as Janusz and the woman were talking. Janusz was making flirtatious discussion about his handcuffs, while stroking her arm, the woman testified.

The unknown officer asked, “Are you up to your old self, Janusz?” the alleged victim, now 29, told jurors this morning in District Judge Valerie Robison’s courtroom.

When the mystery officer left the building, she said he pinned her against a wall, handcuffed her, while inching her shorts down and kissing the back of her neck.

“I was nervous about it and attracted to him, but I was also scared,” she said. “I didn’t know if I told him to stop if he wouldn’t help my brother.”

In and out of foster care by age 16 at the time of the alleged encounters with Janusz in 2000, the woman had reached out for the officer’s assistance fighting a restraining order against her contacting her brother. Janusz was married at the time of the alleged sexual encounters.

“There were too many times to count,” the woman told jurors, who testified in detail about sex at the police substation, in a gymnasium at the college, in his police patrol car and his private truck. Mostly, they met in the alleyway behind the 800 block of White Avenue, where she’d sneak out the back of her grandmother’s former home.

One time, she and a uniformed Janusz, who’d parked his patrol car in the alleyway for oral sex, were nearly caught by her uncle when dogs started barking, she testified.

The woman testified to brief periods of sexual involvement with Janusz in 2004 and 2011, before she broke it off for good in September 2011. She alleges Janusz harassed and threatened her — at point promising to “bury her in the desert”  — if she exposed the relationship to Janusz’s new girlfriend at the time. Janusz left the police department in 2006, and was employed as a firefighter during his contact with the alleged victim in 2011.

“He said he had friends on the police force and in the judicial system, and nobody was going to listen to me,” she testified.

Janusz’s defense is expected to start cross examination at some point this afternoon. Janusz, 42, has pleaded not guilty to multiple sexual assault related counts.

Read the full story in Thursday’s Daily Sentinel.





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