Dutchess child abuse suspect can now be tried

Date: 2002-10-30
Source: Daily Freeman

Dutchess child abuse suspect can now be tried
Published: Wednesday, October 30, 2002

By PATRICIA DOXSEY

POUGHKEEPSIE - A Dutchess County woman accused of severely injuring her 1-year-old adopted son has been found competent to stand trial.

Jennie Malak, 51, formerly of Hyde Park, and presently of 18 Mount Carmel Place, Poughkeepsie, has pleaded not guilty to one count of first-degree assault and two counts of second-degree assault for serious injuries authorities say she inflicted on Joseph Malak Jr.

Malak, the wife of Dr. Joseph Malak, an area pediatrician, was arrested in November following a three-month investigation by state police into the July 17, 2001, incident that left the child "moderately to severely" brain damaged.

At the time of her arrest, Malak, claimed that the boy had fallen down the carpeted basement stairs of the family home. The child was airlifted to Albany Medical Center in critical condition.

But police have said that a physician and a forensic pathologist have said the injuries are not consistent with such a fall.

Malak was first indicted in November, but Dutchess County Court Judge Gerald Hayes dismissed the charges in March, ruling that the grand jury was not given adequate instructions.

She was subsequently re-indicted, but found incompetent to understand the court proceedings and assist in her own defense.

Officials at the Orange County psychiatric facility where Malak was a patient say she is now fit to proceed.

Hayes is expected to set a trial date in December.

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