New York Psychiatrist Given Max Sentence for Burying Body

May 1, 2015

Monroe County Court Judge Christopher S. Ciaccio sentenced Rochester psychiatrist, Willliam Lewek, to up to four years in prison for burying a body in a Park Avenue neighborhood backyard.

While William Lewek has numerous substance abuse and physical and mental health issues, Ciaccio said, none of those are adequate explanation for why he kept Matthew Straton's body hidden for nearly three months, even as police and increasingly frantic family and friends looked for him.

Instead, Lewek "simply put his needs and fears above others'," Ciaccio said as he gave Lewek the maximum sentence on the felony charge of tampering with physical evidence.

That physical evidence was the body of 32-year-old Straton, who died in October 2013 at Lewek's Rowley Street house and who Lewek then dragged outside and buried. The county Medical Examiner's Office was never able to ascertain what killed Straton, though during sentencing Friday there were numerous references to it very likely being of a drug overdose.


Matthew Daneman, "Dr. William Lewek given max sentence for burying body," Democrat & Chronicle, May 1, 2015,


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