A former Akron officer serving prison time for assaulting and stalking his ex-girlfriend and stalking other women will get to plead his case for an early prison release.

Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Amy Corrigall Jones is allowing Eric Paull to proceed to the second phase of his early-release request, which will involve a hearing in which Paull will be permitted to speak. The hearing will be held at 2 p.m. Oct. 17.

Alexis Dekany, Paull’s ex-girlfriend, made an emotional plea to Jones during the first hearing for his potential early release on Aug. 1, begging Jones, “Please protect me!” Area victims’ rights advocates crowded the courtroom to show their support for Dekany.

Paull, 44, a sergeant who had been an Akron officer for 19 years, was sentenced in October to four years in prison after pleading guilty to felony charges of aggravated assault, tampering with evidence, menacing by stalking and other crimes in connection with a series of incidents involving Dekany and other women.

Three of the charges involved the illegal use of the Police Department computer to obtain information on Dekany, 32 female students at the University of Akron where he taught law enforcement classes and 21 area nightclub dancers.

Paul requested an early release from prison June 24, arguing that he has made progress while incarcerated, including completing several programs and regularly attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

Jones didn’t issue a written ruling on why she was allowing Paull to move on to the second early release phase. She simply scheduled the next hearing date.

Dekany filed a civil lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Akron late last month against Paull, the city of Akron, the city of Stow, the Akron Police Department and several other Akron and Stow officers. She claims police in Akron and Stow failed to protect her when she complained about Paull.

Stephanie Warsmith can be reached at 330-996-3705 or swarsmith@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow on Twitter: @swarsmithabj and on Facebook: www.facebook.com/swarsmith.