The man accused of torturing a Quincy pit bull, dubbed "Puppy Doe" by investigators, has been indicted by a grand jury on 12 counts of animal abuse and one count of misleading police.
Radoslaw Czerkawski, 32, was scheduled to go before a Quincy District Court judge in December for pretrial conference; however, the indictment will move the case to Norfolk Superior Court.
The change means that if convicted, Czerkawski would face a sentence of up to 5 years per count in state prison, whereas District Court can only impose a maximum sentence of 2 1/2 years in a county House of Correction.
“Only a justice of the Superior Court can order longer terms to be served in a State Prison,” said Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey in a release.
The arraignment on the indictments has not yet been scheduled, but Morrissey said they most likely will be set before Dec. 20, when Czerkawski was scheduled to appear in District Court.
“At the time of the Superior Court arraignment, the District Court case will be withdrawn as superseded,” Morrissey said.
Czerkawski pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him during his Oct. 29 arraignment in Quincy District Court.
Judge Mark S. Coven ordered him held on $500,000 cash bail with a $5 million surety after hearing an argument relative to Czerkawski’s financial means and risk of flight .
Czerkawski, who was living in a Connecticut hotel at the time of his arrest, is a native of Poland, and is also facing deportation at the conclusion of the criminal case.
In the release, the District Attorney’s office said it will not release or confirm any details of additional investigation into Czerkawski’s activities within Norfolk County.
Czerkawski is also facing larceny charges out of New Bedford for allegedly stealing money from a church.
Police have been investigating the case since the severely abused and malnourished animal was found near a Whitwell Street playground on Aug. 31.
The animal was so severely abused it could barely walk and had to be euthanized. According to officials with the Animal Rescue League of Boston, which performed a necropsy on the animal, the injuries point to sadistic, prolonged, and intentional abuse.