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State v. Blachowski

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

June 13, 2019

STATE OF OHIO Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
SCOTT BLACHOWSKI, Defendant-Appellant.

          Criminal Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case No. CR-18-626046-A

          Michael C. O'Malley, Cuyahoga County Prosecuting Attorney, and Jennifer A. Driscoll and Debora Brewer, Assistant Prosecuting Attorneys, for appellee.

          John T. Forristal, for appellant.

          JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

          KATHLEEN ANN KEOUGH, J.

         {¶ 1} Defendant-appellant, Scott Blachowski, appeals from his convictions for rape, gross sexual imposition, and endangering children. Finding no merit to the appeal, we affirm.

         I. Background

         {¶ 2} In February 2018, a Cuyahoga County Grand Jury charged Blachowski in a sixteen-count indictment with six counts of rape in violation of R.C. 2907.02(A)(1)(b); six counts of gross sexual imposition in violation of R.C. 2941.148(A); and four counts of endangering children in violation of R.C. 2919.22(B)(1). All of the rape and gross sexual imposition counts carried a sexually violent predator specification. Blachowski pleaded not guilty, and the matter proceeded to a jury trial.

         {¶ 3} P.T., the great-grandmother of E.T., the victim, testified that she obtained custody of E.T.'s mother, K.T., when K.T. was nine years old. She testified that K.T. gave birth to E.T. when she was 16 years old, but only a few weeks after giving birth, K.T. "started becoming wild again, drinking, taking marijuana," and did not want to care for E.T. P.T. said that K.T. and Blachowski lived with her but had a volatile relationship marred by drinking, drug use, and domestic violence.

         {¶ 4} Blachowski and K.T. moved out of P.T.'s home when E.T. was one year old, and P.T. continued to care for the child. K.T. regained custody of E.T. when he was a toddler, however, and E.T. moved in with her and Blachowski. P.T. testified that K.T. and Blachowski continued to drink "quite a bit," and K.T. used marijuana "all the time."

         {¶ 5} E.T., who was ten years old at the time of trial, testified that he lived with his mom, Blachowski, and two siblings. He said that he saw his mom and dad "drinking all the time," and he often saw his dad hitting his mom; one time he saw Blachowski put a knife to K.T.'s stomach.

         {¶ 6} He said he, his mom, and dad all slept in the same bed, and Blachowski began abusing him when he was four or five years old. E.T. said that he told his mom what Blachowski had done after the first time Blachowski touched his penis, but Blachowski told K.T. "he thought it was just the sheets," so she "didn't do anything." E.T. testified that he knew Blachowski's explanation was a lie because, he said, "I felt it. I seen it. It happened to me. I know it wasn't a dream."

         {¶ 7} E.T. said that Blachowski sexually abused him repeatedly through the years. He said the incidents occurred at night in bed while K.T. was sleeping, and he was afraid to wake her up. He said that Blachowski touched his penis, and forced him to touch Blachowski's penis. E.T. testified further that Blachowski would put his penis in E.T.'s mouth, and he was forced to put his penis in Blachowski's mouth. E.T. testified that Blachowski once made him insert his penis into his four-year-old sister's bottom; he said he specifically remembered the incident because the family had just moved back from Arizona when it happened.

         {¶ 8} E.T. testified that two days before he told his grandmother what had been going on, Blachowski forced him to watch pornography and then "the same thing as always" happened; "he made me suck his penis. He sucked mine."

         {¶ 9} E.T. testified that he loved Blachowski, and that Blachowski "tried to be a good dad." He said he was "confused" when the sexual abuse happened because he "kind of knew it was bad. But my dad did it."

         {¶ 10} P.T. testified that E.T. and his siblings spent time at her house almost every weekend through the years. She said that when E.T. was nine years old, she realized that he seemed especially angry and unhappy, so she told him that he could talk to her if something was bothering him. P.T. said that E.T. then told her that Blachowski had touched him "in his private area." P.T. testified that E.T. told her that K.T. was sleeping in the bed while it was happening, and P.T. "just took that to mean she had been drinking." P.T. testified further that E.T. told her that K.T. had believed Blachowski's explanation that it was "just the sheet" when he had told her years ago what had happened, and that he asked her to tell K.T. what had been going on.

         {¶ 11} P.T. testified that E.T. moved in with her shortly after Blachowski was arrested, and initially seemed happy to live with her. P.T. said that a few weeks after he moved in, however, two incidents occurred that caused him to be hospitalized twice for psychiatric treatment. P.T. said that E.T. now takes medication for depression and receives counseling.

         {¶ 12} Cleveland Police Detective Richard Durst testified that he investigated the case. He said that he interviewed E.T., who disclosed sexual abuse by Blachowski. He said that E.T. seemed "sad" during the interview, but gave detailed disclosures about what had happened. Detective Durst testified that he also interviewed K.T., and then, after consulting with the prosecutor, issued an arrest warrant for Blachowski.

         {¶ 13} Detective Durst testified that he did not obtain any physical evidence in the case, but explained that no DNA evidence was available due to E.T.'s delayed disclosure. He said that he did not interview E.T.'s sister, so he was unable to corroborate E.T.'s allegation about her, but he said that K.T. had confirmed that the family had moved from a rear apartment to a front apartment, thus corroborating E.T.'s statement to him that the incidents had happened in two apartments. On cross-examination, Detective Durst admitted that he did not look at Blachowski's telephone, even though it could have corroborated E.T.'s allegation that Blachowski made him watch pornography.

         {¶ 14} Blachowski testified in his own defense. He admitted that he cheated on K.T. and was physically abusive toward her, and that he had been convicted of domestic abuse. He said that E.T. "got it right" that E.T. slept in the bed with Blachowski and K.T., that Blachowski beat K.T., and that Blachowski whipped E.T. Blachowski denied, however, that he ever showed pornography to E.T. or did anything of a sexual nature with him.

         {¶ 15} The state dismissed two counts of rape (Counts 3 and 11), and one count of gross sexual imposition (Count 14). The jury subsequently found Blachowski guilty of all remaining counts - four counts of rape, five counts of gross sexual imposition, and four counts of endangering children. The court found him guilty of the sexually violent predator specifications attached to the rape and gross sexual imposition charges.

         {¶ 16} The court sentenced Blachowski to life in prison without the possibility of parole on the rape counts; concurrent with five years to life on the gross sexual imposition counts; eight years on Counts 7 and 15 (felony endangering children); and six months with credit for time ...


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