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A Sauk City man who is a registered sex offender has been accused of sexually assaulting two female nursing home residents, something prosecutors have characterized as a hate crime.

According to court documents, an elderly woman told a nurse at the Maplewood of Sauk Prairie nursing home last week that a man had come into her room and touched her inappropriately.

Another nurse said she saw a man — later identified as 69-year-old Galen J. Malisch — in the woman’s room during the period of time in which the assault allegedly occurred.

Nursing home staff contacted police the following day, and an officer later interviewed Malisch. He allegedly admitted to the assault, telling the officer that he believed the woman “wouldn’t say anything because of her advanced age,” and that’s why he chose her.

“Malisch did state that he did this for gratification,” the officer reported.

The woman said she told the man who assaulted her to stop, but that he did not do so right away. After being shown a picture of Malisch, she confirmed he was the person who assaulted her, according to court documents.

Asked if he had assaulted any other residents at the nursing home, Malisch allegedly told an officer about a similar incident involving another female resident at least four months prior.

The officer sought to speak with that woman, the criminal complaint states, but was told by nursing home staff that she could not communicate because of her condition.

Online court records show Malisch was convicted of multiple felony sex crimes in 1990. He was sentenced to five years in prison, 10 years of probation, and ordered to register as a lifetime sex offender.

Further information about his presence at the Sauk Prairie nursing home was not available Monday. The facility’s administrator, Paul Fiscus, declined to comment.

Sauk County prosecutors have 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.

He also faces one misdemeanor count of fourth-degree sexual assault, charged as a hate crime. That increases the maximum possible period of incarceration for the misdemeanor from nine months to one year.

State law allows prosecutors to add the hate crime modifier if the defendant selected their victim because of a “belief or perception regarding the race, religion, color, disability, sexual orientation, national origin or ancestry of that person.”

Malisch has been jailed on a $20,000 cash bond. If released on bond, he would not be allowed to have contact with any nursing home or residential care facility in Sauk County. He is due to appear in court June 13.

Follow Tim Damos on Twitter @timdamos

Reporter for the Baraboo News Republic.