A week after a University of Florida senior was accused of sexual assault and arrested on charges of battery and false imprisonment, a judge released him without bond, granting a motion from the 21-year-old’s attorney that called the student “high-achieving.”
Ian Milaski, a resident assistant for a dormitory at the university, was arrested Aug. 28. According to the police report, a campus officer responded to a residence hall for an “alleged sexual battery.” A female student told campus police that Milaski picked her up, put her on his bed, climbed on top of her and attempted to put his hands in her underwear. After she fled, he entered her dorm room and tried to lie down beside her, according to the report.
After Milaski was arrested and read his Miranda rights, he admitted to police that he had grabbed the woman by her wrist and said he wanted to sleep with her, according to the arrest report.
At his first appearance in court, he pleaded not guilty and was held on $125,000 bond at the Alachua County Jail in northern Florida.
Then a judge ruled that Milaski should be released on his own recognizance after his attorney argued that the college senior had no previous criminal history and was not a flight risk. In court documents, the attorney, Ronald Kozlowski, told the judge that the student is a double major slated to graduate in May with plans to attend law school, that he had “personally performed more than 210 hours of community service in the last two years” and that he was a member of two honor societies on campus.
Keeping Milaski in jail while he awaits trial, the attorney argued, would jeopardize his academic standing.
In the motion, Kozlowski also cited the deadly path of Hurricane Dorian, which at the time was expected to hit the student’s South Florida hometown. If the judge waived or reduced the $125,000 bond, Milaski planned to help his parents with storm preparation, according to court documents.
On Sept. 5 the motion was granted, and Milaski was later released. He was ordered to wear a GPS monitoring device and banned from Alachua and Sarasota counties except for court appearances and to attend “necessary events” at the University of Florida.
Kozlowski wrote in court documents that the incident “will be shown to be a misunderstanding among platonic friends fueled by alcohol.” In an interview with The Washington Post, Kozlowski declined to elaborate on what he meant by that.
The woman told a reporter for the university student newspaper, the Alligator, that she is a sophomore. She declined to speak further about the incident, the Alligator reported, but she did write a Facebook post about her encounter with Milaski, saying that she “was sexually assaulted” and that she will “continue to fight this and continue to fight him.”
The Washington Post does not name victims of sexual assault without their consent.
According to the arrest report, the victim told police that at 1:50 a.m. on Aug. 25, Milaski called her to say he was drunk and needed help. He asked her to bring him water, the woman told authorities. She met him and walked him back to his room in a residence hall next to hers. Milaski attempted to kiss her multiple times, the woman told police, and she said “no” multiple times.
Milaski allegedly held the woman’s wrist, said he wanted to sleep with her and prevented her from leaving his room, according to the report. She told police that she invented a story about retrieving her keys from the hallway but that before she could leave, Milaski grabbed her, picked her up and put her on his bed.
Milaski climbed on top of her, according to the arrest report, and tried to put his hands beneath her underwear.
Again, she told police she cried for him to stop.
Eventually she broke free, the woman said, and met two male friends who walked her back to her dorm room. One stayed in the room with the woman and her roommate.
At 4 a.m., the woman told police she heard the door to her room open and saw someone standing in the entryway. The person, she said she realized, was Milaski, who attempted to lie down beside her, according to the arrest report.
The friend yelled at Milaski to leave, and he did.
The judge “did exactly what he was supposed to do under the law,” Kozlowski told The Post of the court’s decision to waive Milaski’s bond. The judge would not have waived the bond, Kozlowski said, if he thought Milaski was a threat to the community at large or if he had a record of criminal activity.
“Frankly, his only record is one of distinction,” Kozlowski said.
University of Florida spokesman Steve Orlando told the Alligator that an investigation was opened into the incident as soon as it was reported and that Milaski was arrested hours later. Orlando confirmed to the Alligator that Milaski was a resident assistant at the university.
“We’ve never had an incident happen like this before involving an RA,” Orlando told the Alligator. “Student safety is our number one priority.”