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April 12, 2013

Retired cop faces criminal sexual conduct charges involving student

By Brian Louwers
C & G Staff Writer

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Retired cop faces criminal sexual conduct charges involving student

WARREN – A retired Warren police officer is facing felony charges as the result of an investigation into an alleged sexual relationship with a 16-year-old Warren Woods-Tower High School student.

Dale Malesh, 62, of Roseville, was arrested April 12 and later arraigned in the 37th District Court on two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

According to Police Commissioner Jere Green, Malesh retired as a patrolman from the Warren Police Department in January 2011 after 19 years of service. Green said Malesh spent 11 years immediately before his retirement as a school resource officer at Tower High School and that he later worked as a security contractor in the building through the 2011-2012 school year.

Green, who also serves as the president of the Warren Woods Public Schools Board of Education, said investigators were made aware of the allegations on March 21.

“We did an investigation and the evidence indicates that there was a sexual relationship between the 62-year-old Dale Malesh and the 16-year-old student at Tower,” Green said. “The investigation included phone records, text messages, Facebook, Twitter, some financial transaction device evidence. After interviews with school employees, interviews with other students at Tower and one interview with Dale Malesh, we presented our investigation to the prosecutor.”

Green said he assigned two detectives to the case as soon as the allegations were brought to police.

“We wanted to have a thorough investigation not only to provide the Prosecutor’s Office with as much evidence as possible, but to ensure the victim’s rights were protected and obviously to ensure that the person who was accused was afforded due process, as well,” Green said.

Police executed a search warrant at Malesh’s home in Roseville April 12 and took him into custody without incident.

Malesh was later arraigned in the 37th District Court before Judge Dean Ausilio, who set bail at $150,000 cash or surety. Malesh was ordered to wear a tether if released on bond, was required to give up his passport and was ordered to refrain from contact with anyone under 18. 

Defense attorney Steve Kaplan, a former prosecutor retained to represent Malesh, declined to discuss the allegations but said his client was a “liked and respected police officer” who worked at a hospital and taught concealed weapons classes after retirement.

“I haven’t seen the police reports. I don’t know what evidence the police have accumulated,” Kaplan said. “I know and respect him (Malesh). I believe he had an outstanding career as a police officer.”

A letter from Warren Woods Public Schools Superintendent Stacey Denewith-Fici emailed to staff members and parents of Tower High School students April 12 asked anyone with questions or concerns regarding Malesh to contact the Warren Police Department directly.

Green said details of the investigation had been shared with police in Roseville, in the event criminal charges were warranted there.

Malesh was ordered to appear back in the 37th District Court for a preliminary examination at 8:45 a.m. April 25 before Chief Judge John Chmura.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Brian Louwers at brianlouwers@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1089.