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CROWN POINT — A sexual battery and ghost payrolling case against a former St. John police commander was continued Wednesday for the 23rd time.

Michael Fryzel, 56, also has been named in three civil lawsuits filed by women who worked at the St. John Police Department and alleged he sexually harassed them.

The town's insurance carrier has paid $202,000 to settle two of those lawsuits, according to records requested by The Times.

One lawsuit remains pending in U.S. District Court in Hammond. The town moved for summary judgment in May, but a judge has not yet issued a decision.

Defense attorney Steven Mullins previously cited the civil litigation as the reason for the delays in the criminal case against Fryzel.

When asking Wednesday to continue the case to November, Mullins said he hoped things might "crystallize" by that time.

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Lake County Supervisory Deputy Prosecutor Eric Randall did not object to a continuance.

Lake Criminal Court Judge Pro Tempore Natalie Bokota, who was filling in for Judge Clarence Murray, set Fryzel's next hearing for Nov. 6.

Fryzel retired in March 2015, days before the women's sexual harassment allegations became public.

He was charged in Lake Criminal Court in May 2016 with three felony counts of sexual battery, five felony counts of official misconduct, felony theft, misdemeanor theft and three misdemeanor counts of battery.

The theft charges are linked to allegations Fryzel collected $5,356.97 from 2011 to 2015 for hours he didn't work at the Police Department.

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