January 06, 2005

Swift action restores trust at Daytop center


By MARIA VOGEL-SHORT MENDHAM - Parents of students say they have full trust in the Daytop alcohol and drug rehabilitation center but no trust in the state’s licensing board and the Newark Archdiocese which allowed a former priest and social worker with a history of abuse to work with juveniles.

The former priest, Richard J. Mieliwocki, 58, of Madison, was arrested on Tuesday, Dec. 28, and faces five to 10 years in prison on charges of endangering the welfare of a child and 18 months for criminal sexual contact in events that allegedly took place in November and December 2004. The abuse allegedly occurred at Daytop, a drug rehabilitation facility off Route 24 in Mendham.

The former South Orange priest was charged with molesting four male teenagers while working as a social worker at drug rehabilitation center Daytop-N.J. in November and December.

He had been suspended in 1994 from his South Orange parish after church members came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct, according to a spokesman from the Newark archdiocese.

Posted by kshaw at January 6, 2005 04:18 PM