Psychiatrist accused of moving missing man's body appears in court

Updated: 03/26/2014 12:32 PM
Created: 03/26/2014 9:55 AM WHEC.com
By: Nikki Rudd

Could he avoid jail time? There was a turn of events in the case of a local psychiatrist accused of moving the body of a missing man to his backyard.

William Lewek was in Monroe County Court Wednesday morning. His attorney is now asking to move the case to a special program where Lewek would be treated for drug addiction. That could also mean reduced charges and a reduced sentence.

William Lewek is charged with tampering with evidence and possession of cocaine. On Wednesday, he applied for the judicial diversion program. First Assistant District Attorney Kelly Wolford opposes this. She says the judicial diversion program is for drug addicts who commit crimes to fuel their drug habit. She says that does not fit this case. 

William Lewek walked into court with his attorney Matthew Parrinello. The mother of Matthew Straton was also in the courtroom Wednesday. Her son's body was found partially buried in January in Lewek's backyard on Rowley Street in Rochester. The 31-year-old had been missing since October. 

By law, Judge Christopher Ciaccio has to send Lewek's case for consideration for the judicial diversion program. But again, the prosecution opposes it and says to be accepted into the program would require a guilty plea to both cocaine possession and tampering with evidence. News10NBC asked the defense what this could mean for his sentence.

Matthew Parrinello, Lewek’s attorney, said, “It's a treatment court. So you go for a period of time in treatment court, up to a year or over a year. In treatment court, if you successfully complete it, the two options are, the case gets dismissed number one or the case gets reduced to a misdemeanor.”

Kelly Wolford, First Assistant District Attorney, said,”I don't see that this is remotely appropriate. In the end, I hope the JDP judges see the same thing and we can try this case as it deserves to be tried in a regular court.”

No word yet on if or when Lewek will be accepted into the judicial diversion program. The medical examiner has still not ruled on Straton’s cause of death. Wolford says the toxicology report could take several more months. 

If Lewek is denied acceptance into the judicial diversion program, his case is back in court for arguments and motions April 30.

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