WARREN (WWJ) - A retired Warren police officer finds himself on the other side of the law — fighting charges of having sexual relations with a 16-year-old girl who attends the high school where he worked as a school resource officer.
Dale Malesh, 62, appeared Friday in 37th District Court and was ordered held on a $150,000 bond on two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct. He told the judge the accusations against him are “without merit” and denied the charges.
The judge told Malesh that if he manages to post bail, he must wear a tether, cannot leave Macomb County, must surrender his passport and enhanced driver license, and is prohibited from having contact with anyone under the age of 18.
Malesh retired from the Warren police force in January 2011 after 19 years with the department. He went on to work as a school resource officer at Warren Woods Tower High School, where the victim is a currently a junior.
It’s not know how long the relationship was going on or where the alleged incidents occurred, but investigators say nothing happened between the two at the school. A complaint was filed on March 21 by the girl and her mother.
“A lot of the investigation involved text messages and Tweets and Facebook,” Warren Police Commissioner Jere Green told The Oakland Press. “Based on the evidence that I reviewed, the evidence that’s been presented to date is disturbing.”
According to reports, the teen said the charges against Malesh are “overblown.” She reportedly said Malesh was her boyfriend and anything that occurred between them was ”completely consensual.”
If convicted as charged, Malesh could face up to 15 years in jail. He’s due back in court for a preliminary hearing on April 25.