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Doctors Behaving Badly: Twin pediatricians both accused of sharing the same nasty predilections

Doctors Behaving Badly: Twin pediatricians both accused of sharing the same nasty predilections

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In the annals of twin research, the twisted story of the identical Blankenburg brothers could fill a volume.

Both high achievers, Robert Scott Blankenburg and Mark Edward Blankenburg made it through college. Then they went to separate medical schools, both graduating within a year of each other. They both decided to go into pediatrics and both were certified in that specialty in 1987. They never married but instead lived together.

For the past 22 years, the twins have practiced in the Hamilton, Ohio, area.

In December 2008, the town was stunned when Mark Blankenburg was indicted by a grand jury on 16 counts of drug trafficking, five counts of aggravated drug trafficking, two counts of corruption of a minor, two counts of corruption of another with drugs, two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, and one count of corruption of a minor. Prosecutors accused Blankenburg, now 53, of molesting a teen-age boy between 1998 and 2000 and of selling prescription painkillers up until 2007.

An anonymous tip to the State Medical Board of Ohio led to the charges, and when the news broke, more former patients came forward with new allegations.

For a few months, it looked like the case of a bad twin and a good twin.

But in March 2009, the twins were indicted together on nearly 80 counts, including charges that they sexually abused patients in their offices, some of them as young as five. One of the boys said Mark Blankenburg paid him with drugs and money to allow the pediatrician to perform oral sex on him when he was a teen-ager. Blankenburg made recordings of some of this abuse.

Prosecutors said they found more than 40,000 photographs of adolescent males in the twins' house and said that, when the Mark Blankenburg began to worry he might get caught, he paid one victim $15,000 to keep quiet. NBC affiliate WLWT in Cincinnati has been covering the case extensively:

Butler County Assistant Prosecutor Lance Salyers said that [Mark] Blankenburg told the teens that it was pointless to go to authorities: "It will be my word against yours. My lawyer will eat you alive."

The father of one of the victims told WLWT, "I found out about it 18 years later that the doctor molested my son when I took him in there... He was an A and B student, after that I couldn't get him to go to school or anything. He just dropped out."

Some of the alleged victims went on to have quite a bit of trouble, trouble that the Blankenburg's defense attorneys have exploited, noting that one had been incarcerated for shooting a police officer and another had a long criminal history. According to WLWT:

Defense attorney Mike Shanks told jurors there is no evidence [Mark] Blankenburg committed the sex acts. He did acknowledge that Blankenburg paid money to his accusers but said what the state has labeled as bribery was "flat-out extortion."

On Oct. 16, 2009, Mark Blankenburg was found guilty on all 16 sex-related charges, including gross sexual imposition, pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor, corruption of a minor and compelling prostitution. On Oct. 26, 2009, a judge found Blankenburg guilty of six drug and money laundering charges but dropped 19 other counts.

Scott Blankenburg is scheduled to go on trial in April 2010 on 22 similar charges.

Comments

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He was my pediatrician. And, it makes me sick, the things he did.

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I am very sorry about what happened to you

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