Woman lit on fire speaks out after ex-boyfriend sentenced

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Gahanna woman doused with gasoline and set on fire will never get to testify against her ex in court. But, Tuesday from her hospital bed, she had a message for the man who Monday changed his plea to avoid going to jail.

She said she’d rather serve his 11 years than face the constant pain of horrific burns.

Judy Malinowski was supposed to testify against Michael Slager Tuesday. Instead, she was preparing for her 52nd surgery after being lit on fire last year.

She said 11 years in jail isn’t enough for Slager, but that she forgives him for what he did.

“I never knew that a human being could be so evil,” Malinowski said. “He just stood there and did nothing.”

Monday, Slager, who prosecutors said doused her with gas and lit her on fire behind a Gahanna Speedway, changed his plea to no contest and was sentenced to the maximum 11 years in jail.

“He got off easy,” she said.

She never got to say in court what she’s fought to stay alive to say.

“You wanted to look at Michael Slager,” said her mom, Bonnie Bowes. “And tell him ‘I’m not afraid anymore,’” said Malinowski.

Her mission now from her hospital bed is to warn other women about the warning signs of domestic violence.

“She wants everyone to know, she’s keeps telling me mom, tell them verbal abuse is the start of physical abuse,” said Bowes.

After 15 months Malinowski remains in critical condition and still fights constant, debilitating pain.

“There were days I told myself I can’t live like this. No one should have to live like this. Because I was in so much pain,” she said.

Facing another risky skin graft surgery on Thursday, she fights on.

Malinowski and Bowes are now also fighting to pass Judy’s law. It would increase the maximum sentence for aggravated arson in the case a person is burned.

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