New Castle Woman Testifies Against Dr. Thomas Tyma
Latest case against rheumatologist brings to 21 the number of women who have testified against him.
A former patient of Dr. Thomas Tyma testified Friday that the rheumatologist groped her during an office visit at Jameson Hospital South Campus in New Castle.
The New Castle woman was the 21st female patient to testify against the doctor this year in the courtroom of Magisterial District Judge Regis Welsh Jr., who ordered the doctor to stand trial on the charges of indecent assault and harassment.
Tyma has pleaded not guilty.
The court case was transferred from Lawrence County to Allegheny County, where Tyma already is scheduled for a Jan. 9 trial on multiple charges of indecent assault and harassment in the Court of Common Pleas.
Northern Regional, McCandless and New Castle police departments filed the cases against the 54-year-old doctor, who lives in Sewickley. He previously practiced at Allegheny North Arthritis Center in Wexford.
The women are not identified because they are alleged victims of sexual assault.
During Friday's preliminary hearing, the woman testified that she went to Tyma because of arthritis pain in her knee and mild arthritic pain in her hand.
He used a stethoscope to check her lungs and heart and asked if she had had a breast exam, she testified.
The woman said she told him that her gynecologist had examined her breasts, but Tyma put his hand on each breast for about 10 seconds, according to court testimony.
"I walked out of there and knew I had been groped," she told the court.
She testified that she did not know what to do, but she spoke about the incident to her husband, friends, gynecologist, primary care physician and another rheumatologist in Tyma's practice.
In answer to defense attorney Stanton Levenson's questions, the woman said she came forward after seeing TV reports about Tyma being charged in other cases.
"I knew my suspicions were correct," she said about seeing the TV report.
Asked why she did not come forward immediately after the incident, she said she was scared, but she was not sure of what frightened her.
"Maybe doing this, having to do this," she said as she looked around the courtroom. "Having to testify."
Levenson argued that no medical expert testimony was offered to prove that the exam was anything different from a typical checkup.
Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Evashavik argued that the pain of which the woman complained was in her knee and hand -- nowhere near her breasts.