Woman admits injuring son; faces up to 3 1/2 years in prison
Author: Poughkeepsie Journal
Dateline: DC Court
A Dutchess County wo-man pleaded guilty Friday to an assault charge after severely injuring her 18-month-old son in 2001.
Court officials said Jennie Malak, formerly of Hyde Park, pleaded guilty to second-degree assault during a late afternoon appearance before Dutchess County Court Judge Gerald V. Hayes at the courthouse in downtown Poughkeepsie.
Officials said Malak, 51, could face up to 3 1/2 years in state prison. She remains free on $25,000 cash bail.
Malak was found competent to stand trial last year after spending time in a psychiatric facility.
Malak, the estranged wife of Poughkeepsie pediatrician Dr. Joseph Malak, was charged with second-degree assault and other charges in the attack on xxxx [name removed for reasons of privacy], also known as xxxx [name removed for reasons of privacy].
The boy suffered severe head injuries July 17, 2001. After being hospitalized, he was transferred to a Schenectady rehabilitation center.
Malak's attorney, D. James O'Neil, could not be reached Friday. The case was prosecuted by Dutchess County Senior Assistant District Attorney Kristine Hawlk.
Malak was charged after a physician at Albany Medical Center and a forensic pathologist who examined the boy concluded the baby's injuries were not consistent with a fall, as had been claimed.
Court officials said Malak, who expressed remorse for her actions, admitted she grabbed the child and shook him violently.
Malak could have faced a maximum sentence of up to 25 years in prison.
Jennie Malak's sentencing on a second-degree assault charge is scheduled for April 10.