01-01-2005, 12:06 PM #1Former Member
- Join Date
- Aug 2003
- In heels
Former Catholic priest accused of molesting teens in rehab center
A Catholic priest the Newark archdiocese says vanished from its radar more than 10 years ago has been charged with molesting teenage boys at a Morris County drug rehabilitation center where he was a social worker.
Richard J. Mieliwocki, 48, was arrested Tuesday night at his Madison home, charged with three counts each of criminal sexual contact and child endangerment, Morris County Prosecutor Michael Rubbinaccio said yesterday. He was released from jail early yesterday after posting $50,000 bail.
"This whole thing is just terribly upsetting," said the Rev. Joseph Hennon, director of Daytop Village, a 70-bed rehabilitation program in Mendham.
"In 13 years, there has never been an allegation of staff misconduct," said Hennon, who had not known Mieliwocki also was a priest. Mieliwocki never mentioned it or listed it on his résumé, Hennon said.
Reached at his home yesterday, Mieliwocki declined comment.
Hennon said he fired Mieliwocki on Dec. 8 after a resident reported that Mieliwocki had another teenager remove his shirt during a private counseling session -- a violation of the facility's policies. Hennon immediately contacted the prosecutor's office, and in the course of that investigation learned of the more prurient allegations.
According to the arrest affidavit, Mieliwocki fondled two 17-year-old boys and an 18-year-old resident and stripped-searched another 17-year-old boy.
The youths whom Mieliwocki is accused of molesting were all on probation, and Mieliwocki had disciplinary power over them, according to the criminal complaint.
He had two of the boys remove their underwear, and spanked one of them, according to the sworn statement of detective Dan Haber of the prosecutor's office. Mieliwocki asked all four victims about the size of their private parts, and how often they masturbated, the arrest affidavit said.
01-01-2005, 12:22 PM #2