Blankenburg pleads guilty, gets 13 years


Dr. R. Scott Blankenburg

HAMILTON— Fairfield pediatrician Dr. R. Scott Blankenburg pleaded guilty to eight felony counts Thursday, Jan. 14, in exchange for a 13-year prison term.

The eight counts in the plea-bargain agreement include compelling prostitution, two counts of bribery, pandering sexually oriented material involving a minor, illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and complicity to deception to obtain a dangerous drug. One of the charges involved a former patient.

His sister, Barbara Kiep, sitting in the front row of the Butler County Common Pleas courtroom, began to cry as Blankenburg answered “guilty” eight times to questions from Judge Noah Powers.

The short hearing, which put an end to more than two years of investigation, countless hearings and multiple indictments, came less than a week after his twin brother and fellow pediatrician, Dr. Mark Blankenburg, was sentenced to more than 20 years in prison on similar charges.

But it will be a month before Scott joins his brother behind bars. Powers granted a stay to permit him time to close up their once-thriving practices, and turn files over to patients.

He will be under house arrest and electronic monitoring, but permitted to go to his Fairfield office four days a week. He was ordered to show up at the Butler County Jail on Feb. 15 to be taken to prison. If he doesn’t, Powers said there would be “very serious consequences.”

Scott Blankenburg was also fined $7,500, to be paid out of bond money, along with his brother’s fine. He, like his brother, was classified as a Tier II sexual offender requiring him to register with the sheriff every 180 days for 25 years when released from prison. After finishing his prison term, he will be on five years of community control.

Last week, Mark Blankenburg was sentenced to 21 to 27 years in prison for molesting three former patients, and for other charges stemming from money and drugs he paid the victims for years to keep quiet. He was found guilty in October after a jury trial.

Scott Blankenburg, 54, faced similar charges. He was also indicted in December on charges for alleged sexual conduct with a 15-year-old boy. The charges allege he allowed the victim, now an adult, to use his urine to pass a drug test and helping him inject heroin. He was arrested Dec. 4. after a Butler County grand jury handed down an indictment on three counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, bribery, complicity to deception to obtain dangerous drugs and complicity to possession of heroin. Four of the charges he pleaded guilty to stem from the that case.

The doctor was indicted last year, along with his brother, on 22 counts of sex and child pornography charges. Assistant Prosecutor Jason Phillabaum said, “The community is safer tonight because these two men will be spending a very long time behind bars.”

He added the plea bargain was a good resolution to the case and for the victims.

Hamilton Detective Paul Davis, who investigated the doctors for more than two years, said he is “satisfied” with the outcome, admitting he is a man of few words.

For the past two years, Davis said he has spent more time at the prosecutor’s office that at his own police station. He is ready to move on to other cases.

“This course of action was in our client’s best interest and he determined that in meetings with us that he wished to proceed in that manner to conclude the case,” said Jack Garretson, Scott’s defense attorney.

As part of the plea agreement, the prosecution agreed not to pursue an additional charges against Scott Blankenburg pertaining to any known victims. Prosecutors said the current investigation ended with the plea. But more evidence or any additional victims who come forward could mean another investigation.

Mark Blankenburg is still scheduled to stand trial in May on child pornography charges which were severed from his original indictment.

Butler County Prosecutor Robin Piper said the state has offered Mark’s attorneys a plea bargain for those charges, which would eliminate a need for another trial.

“We have offered them (the defense) something no reasonable person would refuse,” Piper said, but he added they have not heard back from defense attorneys Chris Pagan and Michael Shanks.

Contact this reporter at (513) 820-2168 or lpack@coxohio.com.