Centre County DA discusses rape charges against dentist
A Bellefonte dentist is facing multiple felony charges related to an alleged rape, according to Spring Township police.
Wade Newman, 47, has been of Bellefonte Family Dentistry for 17 years. He was also a State College police officer from 1991 to 1994, according to his profile with the Pennsylvania Dental Association.
Newman reportedly raped a patient who was under the influence of anesthesia, according to Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller. The rape allegedly occurred Oct. 18 in the patient’s home after Newman drove the woman to her residence a procedure.
A week prior to the alleged incident, the affidavit of probable cause said, Newman set up an appointment for the woman to undergo a root canal at a State College-area dental office, not Bellefonte Family Dentistry’s office. Newman insisted he would pick the woman up and return her home, because he was going to administer the anesthesia himself.
Prior to arriving at the State College practice, the woman directed Newman to drop her off at her mother’s residence once the procedure was over, police said. Newman, however, drove her back to her residence.
The woman reported not remembering the ride home, police said, but said Newman insisted on walking her inside. Parks Miller said the rape then occurred in the home as the woman “drifted in and out of consciousness.”
The woman reported the rape later that day and then went to Mount Nittany Medical Center and consented to a rape kit, which was entered into evidence. DNA testing on the kit later allegedly showed a match to Newman. In cooperation with police, the woman met with Newman who allegedly admitted to engaging in sexual intercourse with her after the procedure.
A staff member of Bellefonte Family Dentistry also called Spring Township police and said that on Oct. 18 Newman took a bottle of ketamine, used to start and maintain anesthesia, prior to the woman’s procedure. The staff member later asked for the bottle back, but Newman allegedly said that he dropped the bottle, causing it to break.
Newman was charged with felony counts of rape of an unconscious person, criminal attempt to commit rape, kidnapping and sexual assault, and misdemeanor charges of indecent assault of an unconscious person and indecent assault without consent, according to the criminal complaint.
A page on the dentistry’s website is dedicated to the benefits of sedation.
“Over 35 million Americans have some level of anxiety when it comes to going to the dentist,” the site said. “But for many, it is more than being afraid. Some of our patients have had a traumatic experience in a dental chair; others come from a painful past. But regardless of your personal history, we are here to help.”
“Unlike conscious sedation dentistry techniques, general anesthesia puts you into a deep sleep during your procedure. While using this type of sedative dentistry, you cannot be easily awakened until the effects wear off.”
Newman was arraigned at 12:32 p.m. Friday. Judge Kelley Gillette-Walker set bail at $1 million straight, which he was unable to post. The investigation into this case included collaboration by State College, Bellefonte, Spring and Ferguson townships and state police.
A preliminary hearing is slated for Wednesday.