Alleged sex assaults on nursing home residents lead to hate crime charge

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A Wisconsin man is facing a hate crime charge after police say he sexually assaulted two nursing home residents, choosing his victims based on their age or disability.

The Sauk City man, a registered sex offender, was accused of sexually assaulting two residents after one of the elderly women told a nurse at Maplewood of Sauk Prairie what had happened.

A second nurse said she had seen the man — later identified as 69-year-old Galen J. Malisch — in the woman's room around the time the assault happened, the Baraboo New Republic reported.

Paul Fiscus, the facility's administrator declined comment on the case to the newspaper, and it was unclear Tuesday how the man entered the building.

Nursing home staff contacted police the day after the most recent alleged assault.

Police said Malisch admitted to the assault, telling the officer he believed the woman “wouldn't say anything because of her advanced age.”

Malisch also told an officer he had assaulted another resident at the nursing home at least four months earlier, according to a criminal complaint, but that woman was unable to communicate.

The newspaper reported that court records show Malisch was convicted of multiple felony sex crimes in 1990, sentenced to five years in prison and forced to register as a lifetime sex offender.

Sauk County prosecutors charged Malisch with two felony counts of second-degree sexual assault of a mentally ill victim, a charge that carries a maximum 40-year prison sentence. He also faces two misdemeanor counts of intentionally subjecting an at-risk individual to abuse and a misdemeanor count of fourth-degree sexual assault, charged as a hate crime.