Source: ABC News
Date: 10 February 2006

Dentist, 77, Accused in Pills for Sex Case

QUINCY, Mass. (AP) - An elderly dentist pleaded not guilty Friday to charges he wrote fraudulent prescriptions that police claim were in exchange for sex from drug addicts. Police alleged Dr. Joseph T. Matarazzo, 77, wrote more than 100 fraudulent prescriptions over two years in exchange for oral sex, The Patriot Ledger of Quincy reported.

Matarazzo allegedly told an undercover police officer that he wrote fraudulent Oxycodone prescriptions for the same person three times and suggested "maybe she had a drug problem." Oxycodone is the main chemical in painkillers Percoset and OxyContin.

Police obtained Matarazzo's records showing a list of prescriptions he wrote, and said it includes several people known to police to be drug addicts, the Ledger reported. Police say their probe is ongoing.

Matarazzo was released on his own recognizance after his arraignment in Quincy District Court. He's due back in court March 15.

The charges include distribution of a class B substance, drug violations near a school, conspiracy to violate drug laws, and uttering a false prescription.

Matarazzo declined to comment Friday. His lawyer, Frederick G. Barry Jr., said the charges against Matarazzo are related to a single allegation.

"He's been a dentist for 52 years and he has no prior criminal record whatsoever," Barry said. "He's a good man."

Matarazzo has surrendered his dentist's license, which he obtained in 1953, according to the state Division of Professional Licensure.

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