Doylestown psychiatrist charged with fondling more women

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. - February 21, 2014

The Bucks County district attorney's office said five more women informed authorities that 42-year-old Dr. Basem Shlewiet fondled them in his Doylestown office.

He was arraigned Friday on 10 additional counts of indecent assault and released on $250,000 unsecured bond.

Doylestown police initially received reports from three separate young women from April to December 2013 alleging Shlewiet fondled them.

After his arrest in January was publicized, prosecutors said five more patients came forward alleging similar misconduct.

Prosecutors said the eight alleged victims ranged in age from 14 to 33.

Defense attorney Louis Busico said his client's examination techniques may have been misunderstood.

"We take the accusations very seriously and, of course, the doctor denies them in unequivocally. He maintains his innocence and looks forward to clearing his name," Busico said.

A court document contains repeated allegations of inappropriate touching while Shlewiet used a stethoscope.

"We can't think of any reason why the doctor should have been touching any patients in any way, much less touching them in a sexual manner, which is what he did," said assistant district attorney Lindsay Vaughan.

The defense counters, saying it is part of the course of prescribing medication.

"So, in order to ascertain what effects, if any - adverse or therapeutic a med has on a patient… why wouldn't you check vital signs?" said Busico.

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