An acquaintance of creep Jeffrey Marsalis from when the two were students at Drexel University was sentenced yesterday to 18 months in a federal lockup for lying to a grand jury.

U.S. District Judge Paul Diamond ordered Greg Eric Hruby, who had been free on bail, taken into custody immediately.

Hruby, 38, of Gatlinburg, Tenn., pleaded guilty last December in connection with false testimony during a federal investigation in 2007 into Marsalis impersonating a CIA officer as part of a ruse to victimize unsuspecting women.

Defense attorney Catherine Henry said Hruby "had a problem with honesty" in the past but has changed his ways.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joe Khan said Hruby was a "serial liar" and urged Diamond to send a message both to Hruby and to a community where a "don't snitch" culture is pervasive.

Sentencing guidelines called for a sentence of 15 to 21 months.

Authorities said that in spring 2003 Marsalis introduced a woman he was dating to Hruby at a diner in the city.

Hruby told the victim that his name was "Greg Turpin," that he worked for the CIA and that Marsalis was a CIA agent, and he told her some details to back up his bogus claim of working for the spy agency.

In 2007, prosecutors said, Hruby, when approached by FBI agents, told them that he had never used the alias "Greg Turpin," had never told the woman that he worked for the CIA, denied that he knew that Marsalis had claimed to work for the CIA and, when shown a photo of the victim, said he did not know her.

A month later, Hruby repeated the lies to the grand jury, although he later came clean.

Hruby told Diamond yesterday that he lied because he was "scared," adding, "I thought I was under attack." He said he was "sorry" but that he had not lied to hinder any investigation of Marsalis, who ultimately was not charged by the feds.

Marsalis is serving 10 1/2 to 21 years in state prison for a 2007 conviction in Common Pleas Court for sexual assault. (Marsalis met many of the women he dated on He also was sentenced to life behind bars with eligibility for parole in 15 years by an Idaho judge in July 2009 for raping a co-worker at a ski resort.)