In recorded call, ex-cop recalls sex with teen
In a surreptitiously recorded phone call played for the jury Thursday, Eric Janusz left little doubt about memories of sex with a then-16-year-old girl in the gymnasium of the former Mesa State College back in 2000.
The ex-Grand Junction police officer is heard on a recording laughing as a woman, now his accuser, makes sexual discussion before raising what happened “in the gym ... like old times.”
“You remember that?” she asks.
“Heck yeah,” Janusz is heard on the recording.
“That was awesome,” the woman replies.
The woman then expresses a desire to “reenact it,” while suggesting he get a uniform and come over like she remembered, “back in the cop car ... the gym.”
“I have a thing for guys in uniform ... kind of yummy,” she says on the recording.
When Janusz hangs up, the woman then date stamps the conversation, “September 26 (2011), 1:30 a.m.”
The roughly 10-minute conversation heard by jurors happened a little more than a month after the alleged victim in Janusz’s case, now 29, said she ended a renewed sexual relationship with Janusz after she testified he’d misled her about another woman in his life. She also testified she and Janusz were sexually involved in 2004.
The allegations of sexual assault in 2000 were reported by a third party to Grand Junction police in August 2011. Janusz’s alleged victim was called in for the first of two interviews with police Detective Sgt. Tony Clayton on Aug. 10, 2011.
The woman testified Clayton encouraged her to keep Janusz “interested” in her sexually — building a case for underage sexual assault — which accounts for the secretly recorded phone conversation played for jurors on Thursday.
The accuser’s testimony, which ended Thursday following two days on the witness stand, wrapped up a fourth day of trial for Janusz, 42. He’s on trial potentially through March 22 on multiple charges of sexual assault on a child by a person in position of trust and similar counts alleging a pattern of abuse. The sex allegedly happened when she was 16 and when he was a Grand Junction police officer assigned to a substation at Mesa State College.
In one of the several alleged sexual encounters described in detail, the woman testified in 2000 she and Janusz snuck inside a gymnasium on the college campus. As they were having sex, they were interrupted by a burglary call at the 12th Street Albertsons store, which blared over Janusz’s portable police radio.
“He made me stop (oral sex) and seemed pretty concerned about it,” she said, recalling that Janusz answered the call on his radio.
“I asked if he had to go and he said no, we could finish, but we had to hurry,” the woman testified.
They did just that, she said.
Janusz’s defense has called the woman’s story “fabrication,” while questioning shifting statements she’s made over the course of the investigation.
The prosecution’s case resumes this morning.