Doctor charged in Rowley Street investigation appears in court

Updated: 01/21/2014 5:47 PM
Created: 01/21/2014 12:30 PM WHEC.com
By: Amanda Ciavarri

A local doctor accused of burying the body of a missing man appeared in court Tuesday. Right now, the doctor is in jail, but he could be getting out soon.

Dr. William Lewek faced a judge in Rochester City Court Tuesday morning with his lawyer, Matthew Parrinello. The 62-year-old psychiatrist is charged with tampering with evidence. He is expected to post bail sometime this week.

Police say Lewek hid the body of 31-year-old Matthew Straton in his backyard on Rowley Street in the Park Avenue neighborhood. Straton disappeared in October. The 31-year-old was laid to rest Tuesday. The Medical Examiner still has not released how he died. 

Lewek’s bail was reduced last week from $500,000 to $350,000. Prosecutors are concerned he could be a flight risk. Lewek is known to travel often and has the money to do so. News10NBC learned police took his passport during the search of his home, so he will not have access to it. 


During his appearance, the judge waived the case on to a grand jury. The grand jury is the group of people who decide if the case has enough evidence to move forward. News10NBC is expecting their decision to be released in the next few days. After court, News10NBC asked why Lewek has been charged when we are still waiting for a cause of death on Matthew Straton to be released. 

Kelly Wolford, First Assistant District Attorney, said, “They are somewhat separate in a part. We have evidence that we believe supports the charges that were filed last week and we felt it was important to go forward and file those and the rest, if there is anything else, will follow later.”

Matthew Parinello, Lewek’s attorney, said, “He is not charged in any way, shape or form charge in connection with the death. At this point in time, he is just charged with moving the body of being in possession a certain amount of narcotics drugs.”

If there are more charges to come, they will mostly likely be filed after the cause of death is released. That will be determined after the toxicology report comes back, which will be a few weeks to a month. 


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