Smithfield dentist suspected of sex abuse dies in Las Vegas

Crime • His brother, also a dentist, committed suicide after his own sex abuse case.
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A Smithfield dentist has died of an apparent drug overdose amid a sexual abuse investigation — years after his dentist brother was convicted of sex crimes and later killed himself.

Smithfield police had arrested Scott M. Lyman on Feb. 25 on suspicion of sexually abusing a girl under the age of 14. But on Tuesday, the department got word from his family and Las Vegas police that he had died of an apparent overdose in Las Vegas.

Lyman was taken to the hospital and put on life support on March 8, but was taken off the machines on Tuesday and died a few minutes later, said Smithfield Police Chief Johnny McCoy. A medical examiner in Nevada is to conduct a toxicology exam and an autopsy to confirm why he died, though the initial evidence points to an overdose, McCoy said.

McCoy's officers had arrested Lyman hours after a girl came forward about the alleged abuse. Police said Lyman's alleged victim was not one of his dentistry patients.

Lyman's brother, Matthew Lyman, 38, pleaded guilty in 2007 to fondling the breasts and buttocks of two female patients while they were anesthetized. After he served his prison sentence, he killed himself, McCoy said.

Prosecutors had not filed any charges against Scott Lyman, and McCoy deferred questions about the status of that investigation to the county attorney's office.

Scott Lyman moved to Smithfield in 2003 from Wyoming and opened up Community Dental Center at 130 W. 700 South shortly after, according to the website.

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