State Targeting Priest in Molestation Inquiry

By April Witt
Miami Herald
July 23, 1998

The Broward state attorney's office is investigating allegations that a Roman Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Miami, the Rev. Jan Malicki, molested at least one minor girl.

"We are investigating any sexual improprieties Father Jan Malicki may have committed," Assistant State Attorney Robert Nichols said Wednesday. "If there are any other victims out there, we request they contact us."

Malicki, 49, a native of Poland who has served as associate pastor in four parishes in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, denies molesting anyone, his attorney said.

"We're waiting to see what the facts are opposed to the rumors," David Bogenschutz of Fort Lauderdale said. "Father Malicki denies it ever happened. Period."

The state attorney's office is investigating whether Malicki molested a teenage parishioner at St. David Catholic Church in Davie, according to a source familiar with the case.

Malicki was associate pastor of St. David from 1994 to 1997, when he was transferred to St. Epiphany Catholic Church in Miami.

The archdiocese suspended Malicki from active priestly ministry on Jan. 17 of this year without telling the congregation he had been accused of molesting a minor, church officials said.

The archdiocese held a news conference on the matter on Wednesday afternoon, after receiving an inquiry about Malicki from a journalist.

"The Archdiocese of Miami has been informed that there is an ongoing investigation of Father Jan Malicki and that an arrest warrant may be issued in the near future by the Broward County Sheriff's Office on charges of alleged sexual assault against a female minor," the Very Rev. Tomas Marin, chancellor, read from a prepared statement.

No arrest warrant

Nichols, the assistant state attorney, said that no arrest warrant had been issued for the priest as of late Wednesday. "When we complete the investigation we'll take the appropriate action," Nichols said.

Two women complained to church officials of sexual misconduct by Malicki, Marin said. In December 1997, an adult accused Malicki of sexual misconduct, Marin said. Church officials declined to provide any details. In January of this year, a second woman "made a similar allegation," Marin said. The archdiocese investigated and determined that the second woman had been a minor when the alleged sexual misconduct occurred, Marin said.

Church officials declined to provide any details on either case.

The archdiocese quickly sent Malicki for evaluation and treatment, removed him from active ministry, and offered counseling to both women who accused him of sexual misconduct, Marin said.

Allegations unreported

Florida law requires adults to report suspected child abuse, including sexual abuse, to state authorities.

The archdiocese didn't tell state authorities about the allegation that Malicki had molested a minor because the alleged victim was an adult by the time the church learned of her, Mary Ross Agosta, director of communications said. Church attorneys told the archdiocese that they weren't obligated to report the alleged abuse, Ross said.

Since coming to the Archdiocese of Miami in 1989, Malicki has served as associate pastor of St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Pompano Beach, St. Bartholomew in Miramar, St. David in Davie and Epiphany in Miami, church officials said.

"The church is a human institution as well as a divine one," Marin said. "We cannot put our faith in human beings. We can only put our faith in God. People will be hurt by this as we are all pained. What we ask is that our prayers be for these alleged victims, for Father Malicki and for the church that we can heal."


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