Mon. Feb 26th, 2024

Dr. Barry Bender, a Tyrone doctor who had been accused by the state attorney general’s office of holding parties and trading young boys alcohol and drugs for sexual favors, entered guilty pleas this morning to two counts of involuntary sexual deviate intercourse, felonies, and a string of other charges.
In exchange for the plea agreement, Dr. Bender, 56, now faces a state prison sentence of 10 to 20 years.
“We offered this plea to doctor Bender months ago,” said Mike Madeira, Senior Deputy Attorney General who was prosecuting the case for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. “Doctor Bender was not interested until it was time to either fish or cut bait.”
In addition to the guilty pleas to felony involuntary deviate sexual intercourse charges, Bender also agreed to plea guilty to prescribing or dispensing medicine outside his practice, conspiracy to deliver cocaine and ecstasy and soliciting for purposes of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, all felonies, and misdemeanor crimes of corruption of minors and selling/furnishing alcohol to minors.
The state dropped 33 other charges in the case.
Bender will be sentenced by Judge Dan Milliron in no more than 60 days. Until then, his bail conditions remain the same. The court will also fine Bender. He may not leave the state, with an exception. Judge Milliron granted him leave for one week to visit his mother in Florida before he begins his sentence, but while there, must be in daily telephone contact with the state Attorney General’s Office. While in Blair County and until the time of sentencing, Bender must report to the county’s probation department once per week physically and call in twice each week.
According to Madeira, the reason Bender accepted the plea was because of the number of witnesses who showed up to testify.
“With 25 to 30 people here and ready to testify, Dr. Bender saw the writing on the wall,” said Madeira.
Thomas Dickey, Bender’s attorney, agreed. He felt that much testimony would confuse the jury.
“(Gilbert) Stevenson (Bender’s accomplice) rolled over and made a deal,” said Dickey, after the plea was entered this morning at the Blair County Courthouse. “We would have been able to attack his credibility and show changes in his testimony, but there were so many witnesses that it would have been hard to make that stick.”
In March, Glibert Stevenson, 30, of Avis, entered an open plea of guilt to six charges of delivery of cocaine, and single charges of delivery of ecstasy, delivery of PCP, conspiracy to deliver controlled substances, providing alcohol to minors and corruption of minors. In exchange, the state would “nolle prose,” or drop, several other charges, including sexual exploitation of children and Stevenson to assist the commonwealth by testifying against Bender.
Both Dickey and Madeira said there were questions on both sides, and neither had an upper hand in the case.
“With all the publicity, we ran a great risk of losing the case,” said Dickey. “The state had concerns about their own case, so it was a risk either way.”
“It’s hard having someone go on the stand and testify about what happened 10 years ago,” said Madeira. “We’re happy with the way this turned out and feel ten to twenty years is the right sentence in this case. If he would have been convicted, the minimum sentence would have been 25 years.”
Now that Bender’s agreement has been solidified, the state can move on in its case against Stevenson, who entered a guilty plea to a number of charges in March. The court would not sentence Stevenson until after Bender’s proceedings were concluded.
According to Madeira, the statutory maximum on Stevenson’s entire case equals out to about 219 years. But Madeira said the court would just stack the charges on top of each other.
“…we’re probably looking along the lines of 20 years,” he said. “It’s entirely up to the judge.”
In addition to a lighter sentence, Stevenson’s attorney Peter Campana, said his client agreed to the sentence because prosecutors fashioned it to exclude the sex offenses, of which he said Stevenson was innocent.
When asked how a doctor could get into something like this, Dickey commented “The doctor had younger sons. He wasn’t even involved in some of the parties,” he said. “Rumors get things like this started.”

By Rick