WARREN, Mich. (WXYZ) - Retired Warren police officer, Dale Wayne Malish, of Roseville was arraigned Friday afternoon in 37th District Court on two charges of 3rd degree criminal sexual conduct for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 16-year old high school student.
For at least two school terms, 62-year-old Malish worked as a security officer at Warren Woods Tower High School where he met the 16-year-old junior. He was known as "OD" for Officer Dale to the students and staff and was well-liked.
But school officials called police to investigate when rumors of the forbidden relationship spread.
At his arraignment Friday afternoon, Malish pleaded not guilty and told 37th District Court Judge Dean Ausilio that the accusations against him "are without merit."
The 16-year-old has spoken exclusively to 7 Action News and insists that Malish was her boyfriend and that they were in love, but now that Malish is charged, the relationship--she says--has ended.
The charges stem from Michigan law, which says an adult in a position of authority cannot have a sexual relationship with a student.
The victim says she has known officer Malish since she was in middle school and that their relationship grew into in early December.
Malish was formerly charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct that carry 15 year maximum prison sentences each.
At his video arraignment, the 16-year-old high school junior, who says she was his girlfriend, sat crying in the courtroom. In an exclusive interview with the investigators, she read a prepared statement she had written in her cell phone:
"Everything that ever happened between us was always totally up to me, nothing was ever forced. I never felt obligated to do anything with him. It was completely consensual. If I said stop he did right away with no questions asked. He always made sure I was aware of what's going on and that I was comfortable with it. I am not a victim and he is not a predator," the student told 7 Action News.
What made the investigation somewhat difficult is the fact that some of the alleged sexual activity took place at the retired officer's Roseville home.
The 7 Action News investigators have learned the investigation into Malish's activities has been expanded.
The Warren police say they will turn over their investigation to Roseville police to determine if more charges are warranted against the former cop.