At the age of 27, single mom Alexis DeKany decided to take control of her destiny, enrolling at the University of Akron in Ohio to study criminal justice.
There DeKany met Eric Paull, an adjunct professor at the university. Paull was also a sergeant with the Akron Police Department with 20 years of service.
At the time he was DeKany's professor, he was a married man. But DeKany and Paull became good friends, and sometime after she completed his class, they became even more.
DeKany says he was a very functional alcoholic. And before long, the once-caring cop started exerting more and more control over her life.
DeKany says during their relationship, Paull would get heavily intoxicated and would sometimes threaten her life, or his own, sometimes weekly.
She felt trapped, but then out of nowhere, Paull left her after about a year and a half.
"In September 2014, I finally had met someone through a church and we kind of began casually dating," said DeKany. "When he texted me one day I said 'Eric, it's not appropriate you text me anymore, I met someone,' and he wasn't happy.
"At 2 a.m. that night I wake up to what sounds like someone trying to smash in my bedroom window," said DeKany. "It was him, he'd ripped the screen out of my bedroom window and was trying to break in.
"He was texting me, saying, 'I will not leave till you come out, I can wait here all night,' so I went outside, and he puts the gun to my head," DeKany said.
"He pointed the gun at himself, said 'I can't live without you, you're the only woman I love, I need you, I broke up with my girlfriend today, I want to be with you.'
"The following day he called me said he'd run a background report on the guy [she was dating] and said 'I will kill him and kill you. You need to stop talking to him.' So I did," said DeKany.
On Thanksgiving 2014, Eric Paull texted Alexis DeKany that he was going to come over to spend time and watch a movie.
"So I put my son to bed. And when [Paull] arrived, I realized he was pretty heavily intoxicated," said DeKany.
"After the movie was over we were laying there, and he just started getting really violent, really aggressive, shouting, yelling, to an extreme that I'd never seen," said DeKany. "I was immediately very, very afraid.
"He began to get aggressive, yelling and pulling my hair. Shoving me. And he threw me down on the couch and put his hands around my neck and began to strangle me," said DeKany.
"He flipped me over and pulled down my pants and just, you know, started raping me, and that's the last thing I remember," said DeKany.
After that, Eric Paull left, and Alexis DeKany felt helpless, too afraid to call police -- Paull's employers.
"He'd tell me he could kill me and get away with it all the time," said DeKany.
And so she didn't file a report. Instead, she takes her own evidence photos and files them away for future use.
The next day, Paull texts DeKany to apologize for the assault, though he never says anything about the rape.
"I just tried to distance myself as much as possible," said DeKany.
But Paull refused to leave her alone.
But then, she made a new friend, Brandon Dowler.
"My initial contact with Mr. Paull wasn't a very good one," said Dowler. "It was a night in December when we were at Alexis's house with our children and he attempted to force his way inside." Dowler's two daughter were over as well. Dowler called 911 to report the incident.
DeKany tried to get responding officers to take a report. But she says they refused.
On April 6, everything finally came to a head. Concerned for his friend, Dowler told DeKany she could hide out at his house the next town over, outside of Paull's jurisdiction.
Paull eventually finds his way to the residence, and Dowler calls police.
Police send a cruiser to the scene and find an armed and apparently intoxicated Eric Paull the next street over.
DeKany finally gets a judge to issue a temporary protection order. She says Paull violated the order four times, and was eventually arrested.
Later, DeKany says a detective told her that Paull had hundreds of other victims. Crime Watch Daily couldn't verify the number of victims.
Investigators determined that Eric Paull had been using the Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway (OLEG) database for his own purposes outside of law enforcement dozens of times.
Paull pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated assault, menacing by stalking, unauthorized use of the ohio law enforcement gateway (oleg) and violating a protection order.
Though the Ohio Attorney General's Office asked for the maximum of nine years, Eric Paull was sentenced to four years on six counts
The Akron Police Department did not return Crime Watch Daily's requests for comment.
However things develop, Paull will never again be allowed to wear a police badge.
At sentencing, Paull, who is also the father to two teenage girls, apologized to DeKany, his family and the Akron Police Department, claiming his divorce from his wife of more than 20 years sent his life on a "downward spiral."