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CROWN POINT — A retired St. John police commander charged with sexual battery and ghost payrolling was granted a continuance in his criminal case for the 21st time Thursday and still has no trial date in sight.

Michael Fryzel, 56, appeared with defense attorney Steven Mullins, who requested a 60-day continuance before a trial date is set.

Mullins also noted a civil lawsuit against Fryzel remains pending.

Deputy Prosecutor Patrick Grindlay said the state didn't object to the delay.

Lake Criminal Court Judge Clarence Murray set Fryzel's next hearing for June 19. 

Fryzel 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.

Three women sued Fryzel and other former police officials in 2015, alleging the men sexually harassed them or failed to prevent the alleged abuse while the women were working at the St. John Police Department.

Fryzel resigned as a sergeant in March 2015, days before the sexual harassment allegations became public. 

The town has settled two of the women's lawsuits — one for $150,000 and another for an undisclosed amount.

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A lawsuit filed on behalf of a third woman remains pending in U.S. District Court in Hammond. 

Fryzel's attorneys in the federal lawsuit in February asked for a stay until their client's criminal case is resolved.

Fryzel took the Fifth Amendment during a deposition in the civil lawsuit, but plans to file a motion for summary judgment that will be supported by his own testimony, his attorneys wrote.

"The subject matter of the criminal and civil allegations involving (the woman) and Fryzel are the same, and it would be unduly burdensome and unfairly prejudicial for Fryzel to forgo defending himself in the civil case to preserve his defense to the criminal charges," the attorneys wrote.

Chief Judge Theresa Springmann set a May 10 deadline for all parties to file dispositive motions, including a motion for summary judgment.

"No further stays, continuances, or extensions of the dispositive motions deadline will be allowed," the judge wrote.

If no motions are filed by the deadline, the lawsuit will be set for trial, Springmann wrote.

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