William Lewek, linked to missing man's death in 2013, released from prison

William Lewek was sentenced in May 2015 to 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison. In this February 2015 photo, Lewek is in court ahead of his conviction. (WHAM photo)

Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - A former doctor convicted of tampering with physical evidence in the 2013 death of a Rochester man was released from prison Thursday.

William Lewek was sentenced in May 2015 to 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison for tampering with evidence, in connection to Matthew Straton's death.

In January 2014, Straton's body was found buried in Lewek's backyard on Rowley Street in Rochester. It was later found that Straton had died, likely but not conclusively, of a drug overdose in Lewek's home in October 2013.

Lewek was not charged in Straton's death.

During his sentencing, Lewek admitted to finding Straton unconscious, trying CPR, then putting him in the shower to wake him. Lewek then said he dragged Straton down three flights of stairs and buried him in his backyard.

It was an act he then said he regretted ever since. It's also an act that Straton's mother has not forgiven him for.

"I haven't gotten there yet. I'm still trying to cope with the fact that Matt's gone. Even though it's been four years, I still look for him everywhere," said Kym Straton, Matt's Mom. "When you think of tampering with evidence, you think of throwing a gun away, or flushing drug bags down a toilet, shredding important documents or whatever. That's tampering with evidence. Not hiding a body, a human, my son."

Lewek served his prison term in Fishkill Correctional Facility. He was denied parole once in April 2016. According to state records, he is now on parole until April 2019.

The New York State Board for Professional Misconduct revoked Lewek's medical license in December 2016. Lewek had temporarily surrendered his medical license on May 14, 2014 and has not practiced medicine in New York since that date, according to the New York State Department of Health.

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