Dentist traded drugs for sexual favors, police say.
Dr. Steven S. Miller worked on teeth, but authorities say the 68-year-old Wareham dentist also dispensed prescriptions for pain-killing narcotics and other drugs in exchange for sexual favors from female patients.
Miller was arrested Tuesday and arraigned in federal court after a monthlong sting run by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
On Nov. 10, he allegedly slapped a female patient on the buttocks and later asked to see her breasts, to which she complied. Miller then allegedly handed her a prescription for 36 Vicodin pills and 40 amoxicillin pills. The patient had agreed to cooperate with authorities prior to the meeting with Miller and was carrying a transmitting or recording device.
“He is such a lovely person, and it’s hard to believe that he would do any of those things,’’ said Joanne Bryon, who lives near Miller and has known him for more than 20 years. “He must have two sides, because he’s been so respectful to me as a neighbor and friend and patient.’’
An arrest affidavit lists the prescription records of nine patients Miller treated this year, calling the prescriptions “inconsistent with the usual course of professional dental practice.’’
“The amounts and dosages prescribed do not adhere to the standards of practice in dentistry,’’ the affidavit said.
The records were obtained from the state’s Board of Dentistry. On Tuesday, Miller voluntarily surrendered his license to practice dentistry.
Yesterday, dressed in a tan-colored jail uniform, Miller sat next to his lawyer, Lenore Glaser, during a hearing held to determine if there was probable cause to continue holding him. Glaser waived the hearing on her client’s behalf, and Miller was ordered held on $10,000 cash bail.
By early afternoon, Miller walked out of the courthouse into a waiting van, refusing to comment on his case. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
Authorities were told by a witness last September that Miller was prescribing controlled substances without valid medical purposes, in exchange for sexual favors. One federal agent posed as the boyfriend of a cooperating witnesses to discuss obtaining a prescription. Miller, according to the affidavit, allegedly instructed the undercover agent to fill out paperwork to make it appear he had dental work done in order to receive a prescription for Vicodin pills.
Miller allegedly told one witness: “I have a very bad reputation at writing drugs. A couple of pharmacies won’t even fill any of my prescriptions.’’
Bryon said she is the state chairwoman for Reading is Fundamental, a national nonprofit early literacy organization, and that she recruited Miller to read last month at Minot Forest Elementary School. Miller, she said, read a book, passed out toothbrushes to the children, and talked to them about the importance of good hygiene.
“I never saw any indication that he was doing anything wrong,’’ she said. “He seemed like such a family man. His wife recently passed away in a motorcycle accident. He was very much in love with her and was dejected, but that didn’t appear to affect his business. He’s always been very much a gentleman. I’ve known his receptionists for quite some time, too, and they feel the same way about him.’’