Closing arguments begin in Blankenburg trial - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Closing arguments in Blankenburg trial

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Dr. Mark Blankenburg in court on Day 8 of his trial Dr. Mark Blankenburg in court on Day 8 of his trial
Lisa Davis Lisa Davis

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

HAMILTON, OH (FOX19) - Closing arguments began Wednesday in the trial of Dr. Mark Blankenburg, the Butler County pediatrician facing 41 sex and drug charges.

His twin brother, Scott, also a pediatrician, faces charges as well. He will go on trial in April.

During closing arguements, a prosecutor told jurors that Blankenburg was driven by his sexual appetite for teenage boys.

Assistant Butler County Prosecutor Jason Phillabaum also referred to photos taken by Dr. Mark Blankenburg of male high school students at athletic events, focusing on their genital areas and buttocks.

Phillabaum said that while the brothers routinely took action photos of male athletes at high school games that they provided to the athletes, they kept thousands of others for themselves. Those photos showed the athletes and other male teenagers with their shirts off, and there were more than 100 photos of one player bending over, he said.

Defense attorney Mike Shanks repeatedly painted the male accusers as liars who were extorting money and drugs from Mark Blankenburg. He called them unreliable witnesses and said there is no evidence to support their allegations.

Shanks acknowledged that Blankenburg had an adult relationship with a 36-year-old accuser, but he said that doesn't mean the doctor assaulted the accuser when he was a minor. He also questioned why the accusers did not come forward earlier and said some of them had admitted "they would do anything for money."

Shanks also said prosecutors would have jurors believe that a 24-year-old accuser who admitted taking more than $250,000 from Blankenburg was not extorting the doctor.

The defense called one witness Wednesday morning before resting its case. The office manager and employee of 17 years in Dr. Mark Blankenburg's office took the stand.

Lisa Davis testified on office procedures and conduct of doctors, nurses and patients. Davis was questioned on the types of drugs typically given out to young patients and didn't recall the doctors office giving out samples of controlled substances, just samples of creams and antibiotics.

However, during cross examination, Davis mentioned there were schedule II samples given out by the office. With that statement, Prosecutor Lance Salyers attacked Davis.

"Where did you hear about this issue on samples of schedule II drugs?" he asked.

Davis replied and said she knew that those were drugs being discussed.

Salyers responded by pointing out that Davis' daughter, who was present in court on Tuesday when experts talked about schedule II drugs like Oxycotin and Percocet, was texting during the testimony. He asked Davis if that's where she heard about them, because until then, no one had mentioned schedule II drugs.

Looking nervous, Davis said no.

Davis also looked over the alleged victims' charts, not being able to find certain prescriptions that were written, but not documented. She said says there were obviously things that happened, but not documented in charts.

A rebuttal witness, a former employee of Dr. Scott Blankenburg, told the jury that in 1995 his office had several sample packs of Vicodin.

Before the defense took over Wednesday morning, Judge Keith Spaeth overruled a Rule 29 motion by the defense. Rule 29 is part of a criminal trial after the state finishes its case when the defense argues the state hasn't proved its case, and will argue against evidence that has been submitted to that point.

On Tuesday, co-council for Mark Blankenburg told reporters that Blankenburg says he wants to take the stand, but his defense team didn't want that to happen.

Stay with FOX19.com for the very latest inside the courtroom.

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