Child beater to be released from prison

Date: 2006-03-05
Source: Daily Freeman

Child beater to be released from prison
Published: Sunday, March 05, 2006

By Patricia Doxsey

A FORMER Hyde Park woman imprisoned for severely beating her 18-month-old adopted son will be released from Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in Westchester County after serving three years behind bars.

The state Division of Parole granted Jeannie Malak, 54, a conditional release date of April 3 following a hearing on Wednesday.

In March 2003, Malak pleaded guilty to felony assault, admitting that on July 17, 2001, she beat her infant son, xxxx [name removed for reasons of privacy], so severely that he was left physically and mentally disabled. In April 2003, she was sentenced to 3{ years in state prison.

Authorities said Malak, who at the time of the incident was married to local pediatrician Dr. Joseph Malak, brought her son to her husband's pediatric practice at St. Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie, saying the boy had fallen down the carpeted stairs of the family home.

Dr. Malak carried the child to the hospital's emergency room. From there, the boy was flown by helicopter to Albany Medical Center and placed in the critical care unit.

Mrs. Malak never provided any details of the events that took place on July 17, 2001, but prosecutors at the time said the child was covered with bruises inconsistent with her claim that he had fallen down a set of carpeted stairs.

At the time of Jeannie Malak's sentencing, nearly two years after the incident, xxxx [name removed for reasons of privacy] could not walk without assistance, had limited communicative abilities and was diagnosed as mentally retarded.

xxxx [name removed for reasons of privacy] was one of two children the couple adopted from Guatemala in 1999. Authorities said the adoption was carried out with a forged letter from a psychiatrist Mrs. Malak had been seeing, attesting that she was mentally fit to adopt the children.

At her sentencing, Mrs. Malak, who prosecutors said had been treated since the early 1990s for psychiatric disorders and initially was found incompetent to stand trial, said her husband had formulated the plan to forge the letter and that he should share the blame for the incident because he knew she was mentally unfit to care for a child.

Dutchess County District Attorney William Grady said at the time that there was insufficient evidence to prove Dr. Malak played a role in the forgery.

On Friday, Division of Parole spokeswoman Carole Weaver said the agency will conduct an investigation to determine, among other things, where Mrs. Malak will live once she is released from prison.

Dutchess County Senior Assistant District Attorney Margie Smith said County Judge Gerald Hayes, in sentencing Mrs. Malak, issued a restraining order prohibiting her from having contact with Joseph Jr. and his adopted sister, both now 6 years old.

At the time of Mrs. Malak's sentencing, the children were living with Dr. Malak.

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