One after another, the authorities who were supposed to protect kids gave Dr. David Blasczak a pass.
A newly filed lawsuit may help explain why.
As far back as 1993, and perhaps earlier, worried families had complained that Blasczak, a family practitioner in the small Wayne County village of Clyde, was engaging in questionable conduct with young girls.
New York state and local agencies looked into Blasczak’s conduct several times but took no action to keep him away from vulnerable children.
He remained a practicing physician and a free man until 2018, when federal investigators caught him with child pornography and tips began to pour in — all of them pointing at the same thing.
Dr. David Blasczak had been molesting young girls in his doctor’s office and his home for many years.
Blasczak, now 71, admitted to being a lifetime pedophile. He pleaded guilty to possession of pornography and was sentenced to nearly 22 years in prison.
He left a nagging question in his wake. How did he get away with it for so long?
James Marsh, a Westchester County lawyer who has represented hundreds of child sexual abuse victims, said the repeated failure of police to apprehend Blasczak wasn’t a surprise.
“Many of these institutions do an inadequate job of investigating these crimes. Often it’s not the crack investigators who are assigned to it,” he said in an interview last year. “They’re not trained to deal with these cases and they don’t have the imagination to recognize what is happening. And you have agencies and institutions that are overburdened.”
The job can be particularly difficult if a figure of respect and authority is involved.
Cases such as Blasczak’s, in which numerous agencies investigated accusations against him but failed to act, can illustrate “systematic failure,” said Marsh, who is not involved in the civil suit.
Such suits, he said, can be the best way to bring such failure to light. Information about agencies’ actions or inactions can emerge during pretrial release of documents and depositions, or during trial testimony.
“Oftentimes, the one democratic vehicle available to all citizens is the courts,” Marsh said. “If you’re just the average Joe out there on the street and you want to make a case to the people … it can be done by access to the courts and the ability to find compensation and social change through the courts. That’s what we’re talking about here, is focusing a lens on a social problem.”