Prosecutor says pediatrician molested male patients - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Prosecutor says pediatrician molested male patients

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Dr. Mark Blankenburg during jury selection Dr. Mark Blankenburg during jury selection
Prosecutors present opening statements on Tuesday Prosecutors present opening statements on Tuesday

By Brad Underwood - bio | email
Posted by Trina Edwards - email

HAMILTON, Ohio (FOX19) - Prosecutors told a Butler County jury that a pediatrician performed sex acts on three teen patients during office visits, slipping them cash payments as they left.

In opening statements Tuesday in the trial for Dr. Mark Blankenburg, Assistant Butler County Prosecutor Lance Salyers told jurors that 53-year-old Mark Blankenburg paid the boys as much as $200 to keep quiet.

The alleged abuse happened in the late 1980's, and prosecutors say as the boys got older, Blankeburg would provide prescription drugs with the money.

"Dr. Blankenburg for about 20 to 30 years now, has been driven by a specific sexually appetite for teenage boys," Salyers told the jury.

Defense attorney Mike Shanks told jurors there is no evidence Blankenburg committed the sex acts and calls it a case of "flat-out extortion." He said two of the boys are currently in jail.

"The state is attempting to prosecute a respected pediatrician like he is a mafia godfather and protect an attempted murderer and two extorionist," said Shanks.

Blankenburg's twin brother, also a pediatrician, is charged with similar sex crimes involving children. His trial is scheduled for April.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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