BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A former Alabama police lieutenant convicted of raping a teen relative has asked to be released on bond while awaiting a sentencing hearing delayed by the virus outbreak.

A motion was filed Monday requesting that Birmingham Police Lt. Pete Williston be released on bond while awaiting his hearing, AL.Com reported.

He was scheduled to be sentenced on April 3 but that has been postponed until at least April 16 because of court delays involving the new coronavirus,

Williston's attorney Scott Harwell said Williston is in solitary confinement and although Williston has told his family he is in “good mental spirits” he would “improve if he could return home.”

A judge hasn't ruled on the motion as of Monday.

A jury took 30 minutes to convict Williston of first-degree rape in February.

Prosecutors said Williston used his authority over the teen and forced her to have sex with him. The victim testified that Williston made her break up with a boy and told her if she was going to have sex, she would have sex with him. The victim said Williston sexually abused her from 2008 to 2011, starting when she was 14 years old.

Williston admitted to having sex with the victim. Williston's attorney argued that the victim was 16 years old at the time and the sex was consensual.

“I recognize it was disgusting and inappropriate,” Williston previously said. “I was an adult. I should have known better.”

Williston was a 17-year veteran of the Birmingham Police Department, whose service included stints as an interim commander in a precinct station and as a police spokesman. He was arrested in June 2018.

For copyright information, check with the distributor of this item, The Birmingham News.

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