A Pekin police officer accused of slapping a handcuffed juvenile is to have his first day in court next month.
Officer Nathan Ujinski is to appear at 9 a.m. Sept. 15 in Tazewell County Circuit Court, a representative of the circuit clerk’s office said Tuesday. The appearance is scheduled for the felony courtroom of Circuit Judge Paul Gilfillan.
Ujinski is on leave from the Pekin force after he was indicted last week on charges of aggravated battery and official misconduct, both felonies. He is free on $5,000 bond. Each offense is punishable by up to five years in prison.
According to court documents, the 37-year-old Ujinski leaned into a squad car July 10 and slapped the juvenile in the head and face repeatedly. The juvenile, who the documents described as uncooperative, had looked toward Ujinski and twice said “little bitch.”
The juvenile was one of five people arrested for fighting at 2005 Market St. Ujinski forced the juvenile into the squad car after he refused to put his feet into it, court documents stated.
Ujinski is an 11-year veteran of the Pekin department. He has been on unpaid suspension since the indictment, according to Mike Eeten, the Pekin police public information officer. Ujinski was indicted Aug. 18.
The officer, who resides in Pekin, had been on paid suspension before he was indicted, Eeten said.