William Lewek Pleads Guilty to Hiding Matthew Straton’s Body
By Tara Grimes
February 20, 2015
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — William Lewek admitted Friday in court that he hid the body of a missing man in his Rochester backyard for months, as loved ones of Matthew Straton searched for him.
Lewek, 62, pleaded guilty to tampering with physical evidence and driving while ability impaired.
Lewek was arrested in Jan. 2014 after investigators found the body of Straton partially buried in the backyard of Lewek’s home and psychiatry practice on Rowley Street. Straton disappeared in Oct. 2013.
“I can’t say that he killed my son,” Straton’s mother, Kym Straton, said. “My son made bad choices too. My son put himself in that man’s home that night so I can’t.
“I don’t think it was killing, I hope it wasn’t a killing that he’s getting away with, but I just think it was bad choices on both of their part.”
Lewek’s trial was scheduled to begin Monday. He will now be sentenced in April, and the tampering with evidence conviction could mean a sentence of 1-1/3 to 4 years in prison.
Straton’s family agreed to the plea deal. Kym said she is thankful she won’t have to go through a trial.
“We want him to be held accountable for what he did,” Kym said. “I have to trust that the judge will make the right decision. My understanding was this way or going through the trial, it would come down to the same thing. Like I said before, I want to spare my family of having to listen to the last moments of Matt’s life.”
For the privacy of the family, Straton’s cause of death has not been released.
“I can assure the public that had we been able to charge with Mr. Lewek with any type of homicide charge, we absolutely would have pursued it,” First Assistant District Attorney Kelly Wolford said. “We charged him with everything we could under the law.”
For now, although still visibly upset, Kym said she is a bit relieved.
“I see an end in sight,” Kym said. “I see an end.”
The plea follows months of legal proceedings, including an application for Lewek to enroll in a Judicial Diversion Program for drug treatment.