Woman admits injuring son; faces up to 3 1/2 years in prison

Date: 2003-02-08

Author: Poughkeepsie Journal
Michael Valkys

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.

WHAT''S NEXT

MALAK CASE

Jennie Malak's sentencing on a second-degree assault charge is scheduled for April 10.

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