Southeastern PA

Accusers say psychiatrist inappropriately touched them during sessions

8 women testify against Basem Shlewiet at his preliminary hearing.

Details emerge at preliminary hearing for Bucks County doctor

WARRINGTON, Pa. - A Bucks County psychiatrist accused of inappropriately touching more than a handful of his patients appeared for his preliminary hearing Tuesday.

Police arrested Basem Shlewiet, 42, at his office on Franklin Street in Doylestown in January.

The arrest came after three patients accused him of fondling them without consent.

A month later, Shlewiet was slapped with additional charges, after five more patients came forward with allegations.

Eight female witnesses, between the ages of 17 and 33, testified at Shlewiet's hearing in Warrington Tuesday.

The alleged victims testified that the inappropriate touching started with heart rate and blood pressure checks.

The former patients said Shlewiet slipped his hands under their bras and fondled them.

"He had no right to touch the intimate parts of these young ladies at any term of their treatment," said Lindsay Vaughan, prosecutor.

In their testimonies, the witnesses said they recalled feeling uncomfortable, anxious, and confused.

But Shlewiet's attorneys said the patients never confronted Shlewiet about their concerns and some of them went back for additional visits.

"We are not depreciating the seriousness of the allegation, but the reality is, many of these people, after saying something very unpleasant happened, went back, and went back, and went back," said Louis Busico, defense attorney.

The district judge ruled there was enough evidence for the trial to continue.

The case will now go to the court of Common Pleas.

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