Two women testify that they were molested by Doylestown psychiatrist
By Hayden Mitman
October 7, 2014
The trial of Dr. Basem Shlewiet, 42, of Green Ridge Road in Buckingham and who praticed in Doylestown, began Tuesday. He is charged with fondling patients, including seven women and a 17-year-old girl.
He is charged with multiple counts of unlawful contact with a minor, corruption of minors and indecent assault after several of his patients told police that he fondled them under the guise of testing their blood pressure and heart rate, authorities said.
Both women who testified provided similar stories, saying Shlewiet touched them inappropriately while he claimed to be taking their heart rate and blood pressure.
First to testify, a 19-year-old woman said she visited Shlewiet several times with her mother, and, during those visits, the doctor would send her mother out of the room before he would proceed to touch her breast while claiming to be checking her heart rate. She also said that he asked her if she was sexually active.
“His hand was completely under my bra,” she said.
On her fourth visit, the woman said, Shlewiet placed a stethoscope inside her bra and had her lie on a sofa so he could massage her stomach.
“I don’t know if the way he was touching me was right or not but I felt uncomfortable,” she told Bucks County prosecutor Lindsey Vaughn. “He looked at me in really creepy ways. The way he looked at me was like he was checking me out.”
After that visit, the woman said she told her parents about her concerns. The next time she visited Shlewiet’s office, her mother refused to leave the office, making the psychiatrist act odd, she said.
“He seemed scared, intimidated and sheepish,” she said, talking about the time when her mother stayed in the room.
The woman said that then, with her mother in the room, the doctor took her blood pressure and heart rate, but this time, he didn’t move his hand under her bra.
“It was nowhere near the way he touched me before,” she told the jury.
She also claimed that at times, when Shlewiet would talk to her about her medications and issues, she would see him touching his genitals.
Defense attorney Louis Busico questioned the witness, asking if she had ever complained of tightness of her chest due to her anxiety disorder, which is why she had an appointment with Shlewiet.
She said that she had likely mentioned that she had felt “jumpy” and may have complained of a tightness in her chest.
The second woman to testify was a 21-year-old woman who said she set up appointments with Shlewiet for medication for ADD, anxiety and depression.
She said that she met with the doctor many times — in person and often over video chat on her computer after she moved away to college — to get prescriptions filled. However, once, she claimed that when she visited his office, he touched her twice inappropriately.
She said that Shlewiet touched both of her breasts while using a stethoscope. According to her testimony, when he said he was checking her blood pressure and heart rate, Shlewiet moved his hand below her breasts, under the under wire on her bra and told her that her blood pressure was high.
“He told me to stop talking because that’s why my blood pressure was high,” she said.
When she pressed him for more information about her blood pressure, she said, Shlewiet moved his hand back into her shirt to take her blood pressure once more, and again groped her chest.
When Busico asked her about blood tests and an EKG scan that the doctor had her undergo, she said she was comfortable with those tests, her issue was how Shlewiet conducted his blood pressure check on her.
“I’ve never had someone check my heart rate between my breasts,” she said.
If convicted, Shlewiet could serve more than five years in a state prison.
His trial is expected to continue Wednesday.