SALT LAKE CITY -- Douglas J. Hammond, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel and former Syracuse city councilman, has been charged in federal court with sexual battery.
The class A misdemeanor charge was filed Monday against Hammond, 68, for an alleged Dec. 10, 2009, incident at Hill Air Force Base, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney for Utah.
Hammond had initially been issued a citation, similar to a traffic ticket, in December 2009 for the incident, but the citation was dismissed two months later.
The citation was simply not pursued, said Melodie Rydalch, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office.
"We decided to proceed with the misdemeanor investigation instead," she said. "There has been a continual investigation since the citation was superseded. ... It's just taken to this point to get to where we are."
The citation was dismissed amid strong denials by Hammond, who said he'd never met the complainant and called the case a political vendetta.
Calls to Hammond were not immediately returned Tuesday. He resigned from the city council in November 2010, saying he wanted to spend more time with his wife, who has cancer.
The two- sentence charging document reads that Hammond "did intentionally touch, beneath the clothing, the genitals of another against his will, which the defendant knew or should have known would likely cause affront and alarm to the person touched."
The offense is punishable by up to one year in prison and up to a $2,500 fine. The case has been assigned to federal Magistrate Judge Paul Warner with no dates yet pending, Rydalch said.
She said she couldn't comment on any details about the victim, or the unusual time frames in the case, but did say Hammond's attorney had been in contact with prosecutors before the charge was officially filed Monday.
"There have been some discussions," she said.
According to details from the citation filed in December 2009, then dismissed Feb. 23, 2010, the incident occurred in the Health and Wellness Center, a spa on base.
The victim subsequently identified Hammond "by facial recognition," according to a probable cause statement.