BELLEFONTE–Former Bellefonte dentist Dr. Wade Newman, 47, on Wednesday was ordered bound over on all his charges before District Judge Carmine Prestia. Newman’s charges include one count of rape of an unconscious person; one count of kidnapping; one count of sexual assault; and two counts of indecent assault.
During the preliminary hearing, the victim testified that in October of 2016, she was to undergo a root canal procedure with a different dentist. Dr. Newman, who was the victim’s dentist for 17 years, offered to drive her to the appointment because he was to anesthetize her. On their way to the appointment, the victim instructed Dr. Newman drive her to her mother’s home after the procedure. The victim testified Dr. Newman had a different demeanor about him that day and texted her husband that “Dr. Newman is just creepy.”
Dr. Newman asked the victim if anyone was going to be at her home after the procedure. The victim told him no. After the procedure, the victim was still under anesthesia but remembered Dr. Newman holding her up as he helped her walk to the car. Dr. Newman ignored the victim’s instructions and drove her to her home where no one was home. After physically assisting the victim into her house, she testified he raped her as she drifted in and out of consciousness.
She testified that after she regained consciousness, she still had trouble moving from the floor due to the anesthesia. After a short while, she was able to get up from the floor to report the rape.
Spring Township Police Department conducted an investigation. Detective Dale Moore testified that a rape kit exam corroborated sexual contact between the victim and Dr. Newman.
Detective Paul of the State College Police Department and Trooper Wakefield of the Pennsylvania State Police both testified to recorded admissions Dr. Newman made to the victim about his attraction to her and his attempt to have sex with the victim on her steps in her home after he took her home.
During the recorded calls, Newman originally denied having sex with the victim, suggesting to her the “extra” medication he gave her was causing her to hallucinate. After prodding, he admitted he wanted to have sex with her and always found her attractive and would but only another time when she was “unsedated.” Finally, Dr. Newman was caught on camera meeting alone with the victim in an arrangement set up at his urging but monitored by police, where he admitted trying to have sex with the victim. Newman insisted on meeting alone with her to “tell” her what happened. Newman tried again to advance on her. The victim refused. Police were hiding in the basement.
Dr. Newman’s attorneys made arguments at the preliminary hearing seeking to have the charge of kidnapping dismissed because she consented to the ride to the other doctor’s office. They also argued to have the charge of sexual assault dismissed because they did not think a woman’s word alone was enough evidence.
District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller argued the two charges should not be dismissed because the law states that the Commonwealth can prosecute a rape case from a victim’s word alone. Furthermore, she said, the case included DNA proving the sexual contact between the parties.
In addition, the District Attorney argued the victim testified she gave Dr. Newman permission to take her from the office to her mother’s home, not her own home. The Court agreed with the Commonwealth’s argument, telling Newman, “I don’t agree with your attorney’s argument” and all charges were bound over.
After the District Attorney obtained a bail condition that Dr. Newman refrain from practicing dentistry and sedating patients, the Board of Dentistry followed suit, suspending his Dental license, finding him to be a danger to patients and the public.
After the hearing Parks Miller said, “Today’s hearing was a major step forward in attaining justice for this victim. We are pleased that the magistrate saw through the defense’s tactics of victim blaming and permitted the charges to proceed.”