Crime

Bellefonte dentist knew patient was 'terrified,' offered to take care of her before, after procedure

Former Bellefonte dentist Wade Newman is charged with four felony counts of rape, criminal attempt at rape, sexual assault and kidnapping and two misdemeanor charges of indecent assault. He was arraigned by District Judge Kelley Gillette-Walker on Friday, March 31, 2017.
Former Bellefonte dentist Wade Newman is charged with four felony counts of rape, criminal attempt at rape, sexual assault and kidnapping and two misdemeanor charges of indecent assault. He was arraigned by District Judge Kelley Gillette-Walker on Friday, March 31, 2017. Centre Daily Times, file

A Bellefonte dentist accused of rape was bound over on all charges Wednesday after a preliminary hearing at the Centre County Courthouse.

Despite attempts by his attorney to have the rape, sexual assault and kidnapping charges dismissed, the case against Wade Newman, 47, will proceed toward trial. District Judge Carmine Prestia, who presided over the hearing, noted that he and Newman both served as State College police officers from 1991-1994 and asked if the attorneys prefer he recuse himself from the hearing, but both sides declined.

The woman at the center of the charges testified that she had been a patient of Newman’s for 17 years when she was scheduled for a root canal on Oct. 18. She said he knew she was “terrified” of dental work, so he would take care of everything and recommended that he pick her up and drive her to the procedure in State College, a suggestion she initially took as a joke.

She testified that during the drive, she asked that she be dropped off at her mother’s house. She also described being uncomfortable with him, saying the looks he gave her were “cold,” she texted her husband that Newman was being “creepy.”

After the procedure, she said, he drove her home instead of to her mother’s. She claimed not remembering much prior to arriving home, but said that Newman had sex with her on the stairs and said he had wanted that “for a long time.”

When questioned by defense attorney Steven Trialonas, the woman agreed that she had initially told Newman she wanted to be driven home and didn’t bring up her mother’s house until the drive to the procedure. She testified she was certain she didn’t change her mind to return to her home on the drive back.

Police officers involved in the investigation testified to the evidence they gathered during the recorded phone calls between Newman and the woman after the reported incident, saying he repeatedly denied on the phone that the two had sex.

The two eventually met at her home, a State College police investigator said, as officers recorded the encounter while hiding in the basement. During the encounter, Newman reportedly again denied having sex, saying they tried but were unable to. He also allegedly tried to kiss her during this time, but she refused.

Spring Township police investigator Dale Moore testified to delivering the rape kit for forensic analysis, saying one part matched Newman’s DNA to a 1 in 7 trillion chance it was a different person. A second part noted several markers matched his DNA, but was deemed “inconclusive.”

Newman has been a member of Bellefonte Family Dentistry for 17 years, according to his profile with the Pennsylvania Dental Association.

He faces four felony counts of rape, criminal attempt at rape, sexual assault and kidnapping, according to court documents, and two misdemeanor charges of indecent assault. He posted $1 million bail on April 3. Conditions of his bail set at his arraignment include the inability to practice dentistry, surrendering his passport and a restriction on leaving the state.

Jeremy Hartley: 814-231-4616, @JJHartleyNews

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