Doc #fired after #child porn arrest

CLYDE — Finger Lakes Health fired one of its doctors a day after he was arrested on child pornography charges.

In a statement sent to media outlets Friday, Lara Turbide, Finger Lakes Health’s vice president of community services, said the agency initially suspended Dr. David Blasczak’s medical staff privileges after learning of the federal investigation that resulted in his arrest Thursday.

“Following additional information obtained and based upon our policies and his employment contract, we have since taken decisive action terminating employment with Dr. Blasczak and revoking his medical staff privileges,” Turbide said.

Turbide said the agency is cooperating with the Department of Homeland Security in its investigation.

Blasczak was employed by Finger Lakes Health, which operates the Clyde Family Health Center, since 2016. He was a family physician and pediatrician at the Clyde site.

Blasczak was charged with receipt and possession of child pornography. The charges carry a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison, a maximum sentence of 20 years and a possible fine of up to $1 million.

Federal officials said Blasczak made 10 purchases from a fee-based child porn website based in India. They said each file Blasczak purchased contained thousands of images of child pornography.

Law enforcement officers executed a search warrant Thursday at the Blasczak home on Jason Drive in Newark. Officers seized several devices, including a laptop computer, digital camera, secure digital cards, thumb drives and memory sticks. Authorities estimate they have discovered more than 1,000 images and multiple videos of child pornography on the thumb drives alone.

Blasczak, 69, was present during the search and questioned by federal agents. Officials said he admitted buying the child porn after denying it initially.

Although Blasczak said he did not abuse any of his young patients, he admitted to agents that he photographed the genitals of children at his office to conduct his own, independent research about child sexual abuse. He said he paid the parents of about eight children to photograph their children’s genitals.

Blasczak appeared in federal court Thursday. He was back in court Friday, asking the judge for more time to hire an attorney.

Blasczak, who remains in federal custody, is due back in court Jan. 26.

Federal officials said people who have specific information related to the case are urged to contact the Homeland Security Investigations’ Buffalo office at (716) 464-5931. The agency’s victim-witness specialists will be available to assist any parent or guardian should they need victim-related resources.

Any members of the public who have general questions or concerns regarding sexual abuse of children, or would like guidance on how to discuss this issue with children, can call the Bivona Child Advocacy Center at (585) 935-7800.

Turbide said Finger Lakes Health remains committed to caring for patients at the Clyde Family Health Center. While the office was closed Friday, she said it will reopen Monday.

“We are deeply saddened and want to support the affected families,” Turbide said. “We are committed to the health of our community and encourage anyone with additional information to reach out to law enforcement at the Homeland Security Investigations’ Buffalo office.”

The village of Clyde also issued a statement Friday afternoon.

“We feel for the victims, families, and all who were affected,” the statement said. “These were terrible acts. This is a horrible story all around.

“Be careful what you hear, say and do, especially on social media. There are a lot of innocent people being affected by this situation. Let’s have some compassion for those involved. We had faith and trust in this person. He was a doctor for our parents, for us, and for our children.

“This is a sad day for all, but this community is very resilient and will come together in these hard times.”