Metro

‘Puppy Doe’ animal cruelty trial now set for March

Radoslaw Czerkawski in court in October.
Mark Garfinkel/Boston Herald/Pool
Radoslaw Czerkawski in court in October.

The long-awaited trial of a Polish national charged with torturing a formerly nameless dog dubbed “Puppy Doe” is now slated to begin in March, after two prior delays, prosecutors said Friday.

Norfolk Superior Court Judge Kenneth J. Fishman on Thursday set a trial date of March 6 in the case against Radoslaw Artur Czerkawski, 36, District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey’s office said in a statement.

Czerkawski, a former Quincy resident who arrived in the United States on a student visa in 2008, is charged with inflicting abuse on a pit bull that authorities eventually learned had been named Kiya. The dog suffered broken bones, burns, dislocated joints, a split tongue, a stabbed eye, and complications from starvation before it had to be euthanized.

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The alleged abuser is already serving a prison term for stealing $130,000 from the late Janina Stock, a 90-year-old woman he had been caring for in Quincy before she died in 2013.

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The Puppy Doe case was delayed in July when a prosecutor underwent emergency surgery to save her sight and again last month after Czerkawski was treated for an unspecified medical issue.

“The Court determined that insurmountable witness availability problems made it impossible to keep the January 9, 2018 tentative trial date the Court had set in October after a medical issue on the part of the defendant caused postponement,” Morrissey’s office said Friday. “The final pre-trial conference in the matter is currently set for February 12, 2018, at 2:00 p.m. in Norfolk Superior Court.”

Kiya’s ordeal infuriated animal rights activists and was chronicled in the film “Puppy Doe: Free To a Good Home.”

“This documentary explores the tragic story of a young pit bull dog who was shuffled from home to home via Craigslist and ended up in the hands of a monster,” the film’s website says. “The film also explores animal welfare laws as her accused torturer awaits trial on sadistic animal cruelty charges. Animal rights advocates everywhere demand that justice be brought against the perpetrator of this heinous crime described by many as the worst case of animal abuse the city of Boston has ever seen.”

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report. Travis Andersen can be reached at tandersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.