Ex-Daytop Priest Turns over Social Work License
Madison Resident Accused of Sexually Abusing 4 Teenagers He Counseled in Mendham
By Peggy Wright
Daily Record [Morris County, New Jersey]
November 17, 2005
A former Roman Catholic priest, accused of sexually abusing four male teenagers he counseled as a social worker at Daytop-NJ in Mendham, voluntarily agreed on Wednesday to a suspension of his social work license while the criminal charges are pending.
Richard J. Mieliwocki, a 58-year-old Madison resident, was set to have a hearing on Wednesday before the state Board of Social Work Examiners, but he agreed instead to surrender his social work license until further order of the board, said Jeff Lamm, a board spokesman.
The Morris County Prosecutor's Office has offered Mieliwocki a plea bargain of between five and seven years in prison to resolve charges of child endangerment and criminal sexual contact.
Mieliwocki was indicted in August on charges of misconduct with four youths between the ages of 16 and 18 between March 8 and Dec. 6, 2004, while he worked as a counselor at the inpatient substance abuse rehabilitation facility in Mendham. He allegedly asked three about the size of their genitals and whether they masturbated. He also is accused of touching the buttocks of one boy, the genitals of a second, and getting a third teenager to take off his clothes so he could spank his bare buttocks.
Ordained a priest in 1972, Mieliwocki was assigned to the Archdiocese of Newark as of 1994. He worked as a priest at St. Joseph the Carpenter Church in Roselle.
A sexual abuse allegation was made against him in 1994, and he was put on leave and ordered to undergo counseling when an archdiocese response team found the allegation to be credible, said archdiocese spokesman James Goodness.
Mieliwocki stopped treatment, and his whereabouts were unknown to the archdiocese until he was charged in December with misconduct at Daytop.
Daytop officials were not aware when they hired Mieliwocki in 2002 that his social work license had been put on probation for three years by the state Board of Social Work Examiners in June 1999. The probation stemmed from a complaint of sexual inappropriateness between Mieliwocki and a young male while he was employed as a staff clinician at Clifton Mental Health Service, a division of Service Centers of New Jersey in Clifton.
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