Saturday, October 17, 2009

Now This Is the Way To Do It: Arrested in March 2009, Convicted in October 2009: Ohio Pediatrician Found Guilty of Molesting Boys

Kudos to the state of Ohio for their very swift prosecution of pediatrician Dr. Mark Blankenburg, who was arrested this past March for molesting young boys. Yesterday, a mere seven months after his arrest, a jury convicted Blankenburg on 16 counts of molestation. (Any chance we can import that Ohio jury to San Mateo?)

His identical twin brother Dr. Scott Blankenburg was also charged with multiple charges of molestation and will be tried in April.

You'll need a strong stomach to view this photo of the twins kissing in court after the verdict was announced.

Here's one of many stories that are out today about the conviction:

From Channel 9 news in Ohio
US Pediatrician Found Guilty of Molesting Boys

A pediatrician was convicted Friday of 16 sex charges stemming from accusations he and his twin brother used their Ohio practice to molest boys and teenagers for over 20 years.

Mark and Scott Blankenburg, 53, collectively faced 76 charges of engaging in sex crimes with minors at their practice in the industrial city of Hamilton.Prosecutors said they slipped money and prescription drugs to the patients after the episodes.

The counts also involve drug trafficking, child pornography, bribery and money laundering.

Mark Blankenburg was tried first and a jury found him guilty of four counts of corrupting a minor, three counts of compelling prostitution, three child pornography counts and six sexual assault counts.

The judge will rule on the 25 remaining counts, a court spokeswoman said.

The alleged incidents remained secret for years and only emerged following a two-year investigation into allegations that Blankenburg was providing improper prescriptions to minors.
Authorities found what they called "child erotica" at the home shared by the twin pediatricians, who were known to take photographs at a local high school's athletic events.

According to the Kentucky Post, the 40,000 to 50,000 images seized from the home of Blankenburg were called "child erotica" by a child sex exploitation expert at the trial.

Dr. Cooper defined "child erotica as visual, written or physical depictions that provide a sexual fantasy for an individual extremely interested in children. She said pictures don't have to contain nude images or explicit sexual behavior.

"For example, a swim coach who might have a preferential interest in children might have in his possession numerous pictures of children in swim wear, swimming or at swim meet," she stated. "Those images are not illegal in our country, but they do serve a specific source of sexual gratification for a person with a preferential interest in children."

After spending hours reviewing images for prosecutors in Dr. Mark Blankenburg's case, Dr. Cooper formed an expert opinion on what she had seen. "These images are consistent with the term ‘child erotica,’" she said over and over again from the witness stand.

She said one photograph was of the backside of an adolescent male in a football uniform. Another showed a shirtless male soccer player by himself bending over with the camera focusing on the posterior area of his body. A third involved a boy without a shirt, but the camera focused on the swim trunks or shorts he was wearing.
Gee, as we were reading this we started thinking about how things in the Ayres trial might have been a whole lot different had the San Mateo PD thought to get the search warrant for those nude boy books. But kudos to to the Hamilton County, Ohio PD for succeeding in getting the right search warrant in the Blankenburg case.

And here are some poignant quotes from an Associated Press story from one of Blankenburg's victims who testified:

One of the accusers who testified against Mark Blankenburg also was there and said the trial had been tough, but the verdict was very important to him. The Associated Press does not identify sexual assault victims.

"Every time I heard a guilty it was like I felt a jolt run through me," he said.The accuser said a big part of his life has now been put behind him.

"I can start over," he said.
And speaking of doctors who give out "improper prescriptions to minors" anyone hear about the Ayres victim from the 60's who was given codeine by Ayres whenever he asked for it?


  1. I've been reading the news stories on this, and this case is a million times more complex than the Ayres trial. So how come the Ohio jury got it together and the Ayres one couldn't?
    Excerpt from WBKN news report:

    HAMILTON (AP) — A broad range of charges against twin brother pediatricians accused of molesting some of their patients, with some allegations dating back 20 years, make the legal case particularly challenging for the judge and jury, legal experts said.

    Dr. Mark Blankenburg, 53, went on trial Monday in this city about 30 miles north of Cincinnati. He faces 41 charges involving sex, drugs, bribery, money laundering and compelling prostitution.

    His brother, Dr. Scott Blankenburg, goes on trial in April on 22 charges that are similar but do not include drug counts. Both have pleaded not guilty. The doctors have been ordered not to be with minors and have agreed not to practice medicine while their cases are pending.

    Adding to the complexity, the judge in the current trial is determining some counts and the jury is deciding others.

  2. It sure is a big shame that the San Mateo PD didn't get the right search warrant. The Ayres case was a whole lot less complicated than the Blankenburg twins case. Many of us see no excuse for not getting the warrant.

  3. I wonder if the difference between molestation trials between Ohio and California is that there is a different culture in California then there is for other states, particularly the Midwest states or thereabouts. As a Minnesotan I think of California as being more liberal/open to different things. (No offense to Californians who are on this blog).

    Also, regarding the Ohio trial as well as the trial to be, it sure shows how some identical twins can mirror each other--even with molestations!

  4. To Anonymous at Oct 17, 12:50 pm. You may be on to something there on the differences between Californians and the midwest. The judge in the Ayres case has pretty much mollycoddled Ayres and his lawyers. From what I've read on the case in Ohio, the prosecutors were really on the ball. They stumbled into the case after they learned that the twins were giving unprescribed drugs to kids. One of the kids confided that he'd been molested. And that's when the Hamilton County DA in Ohio really launched an incredibly thorough investigation into the good doctors. They sure mean busines out there.

  5. Here's my favorite quote, from the prosecutor on the Blankenburg case,
    "This doctor will never lay his mitts, his dirty little fingers, on another adolescent boy," Prosecutor Robin Piper said after the conviction.

  6. Ayres doled out thousands of dollars' worth of "presents" to his victims in the form of action figures; collectible comic books; toy models, and more.

    They were covert bribes.

    Many of us believe that as the Blankenburg twins did, Ayres went further with some of the juveniles- offering drugs and money in exchange for sex. That's why the juveniles are reluctant to come forward. But they're out there.