The prosecution of a decorated federal police officer accused of indecently assaulting a woman has been delayed until next year.
Ivan Bruno Kovacic was due to go to hearing in the ACT Magistrates Court on Wednesday but the court heard the original two-day estimate had blown out to four or five days.
A case backlog in the ACT's lower court, with coronavirus disruptions largely to blame, means that the earliest dates available to finish the hearing weren't until February next year.
The 51-year-old has pleaded not guilty to a charge of committing an act of indecency.
Instead of splitting the case into two sets of hearings held months apart and the problems that would cause, Magistrate Louise Taylor adjourned the whole case for a five-day hearing starting February 21.
Ms Taylor, who left the bench to speak personally to the listing clerk while trying to solve the problem, said the situation was "entirely unsatisfactory".
If the case was heard in February that would be more than two years since his arrest.
The case has some unusual complications because the woman Mr Kovacic is accused of assaulting, as well as several key witnesses, are based overseas.
They will be giving evidence by audio-video link.
In November 2019, Mr Kovacic allegedly joined the woman and her friends in the hot tub of a Civic apartment block before inviting them back to his apartment for drinks.
It's alleged he started a play fight with one of her friends before landing a solid blow, and in self-defence the other man punched him in the eye.
When the woman went to help Mr Kovacic into his bedroom, it's alleged he forced her hand onto his penis and pulled her on top of him.
When he was arrested the court heard Mr Kovacic had served in the federal police for 20 years, had a top-secret security clearance and multiple commendations.
Police said at the time that they had suspended the officer.
It's not known whether he is still employed by the Australian Federal Police.
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