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Coast Guard petty officer charged with abusing boy

Posted: March 15, 2012 - 1:52pm  |  Updated: March 16, 2012 - 10:48am

A 31-year-old Soldotna man, who is a United States Coast Guard second-class petty officer, has been charged with sexually abusing a 4-year-old boy who is the son of a woman known to the man.

John R. Blackman Jr.’s charges include second-degree sexual abuse of a minor, second- and third-degree assault and tampering with physical evidence. He paid a $2,500 performance bond and remains out of custody.

Soldotna Police officers investigated the allegations of abuse after receiving a March 4 call from the child’s mother. She reported bruising on the boy’s neck, arms, back, legs and genitals, according to court records. The alleged abuse happened at her home.

The child was taken to a registered sexual assault nurse examiner in Kenai who indicated the injuries were severe and would require follow up from a medical doctor, according to court records.

Blackman had periodic contact with the boy and his mother at their Soldotna home. The mother said she first became suspicious of the bruises two months earlier. Blackman allegedly claimed the bruises were caused by tripping and sledding accidents, according to court records. Shortly after, the mother allegedly took pictures of the bruises using a cell phone.

The mother recalled several times hearing her son crying while alone with Blackman. He would not allow her to see the boy and informed her he was handling the child’s behavior, according to court records.

Police report at one point the mother was “physically restrained” by Blackman when she tried entering a bathroom to see her son.

On Feb. 29, the mother said she discovered the photos on her phone were deleted. When she asked Blackman about the photos, he allegedly admitted to deleting them and told her not to call the police, because he “would lose everything,” according to court records.

Later, Officer Rory Espy interviewed the boy, who alleged Blackman used his hands to hurt his genitals. He also alleged Blackman punched him in the stomach, threw him down the stairs and hurt his arms because he was crying.

Defense attorney Andy Pevehouse has submitted a request for bail modification asking the court to permit Blackman to leave the state of Alaska if he is aboard a U.S. Coast Guard vessel for work purposes.

Blackman is allowed to work as long as he adheres to bail conditions. He was assigned earlier to the Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment, Kenai, but is now attached to the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Hickory, a buoy tender homeported in Homer. Hickory periodically does missions outside of Alaska waters, including a planned mission March 17 to 26 to Ketchikan. Alaska state waters extend three miles from the coast.

The U.S. Coast Guard is conducting its own investigation, according to court records. Blackman has served in the Coast Guard for 11 years.

He performs import maintenance, such as sewage system and air conditioning repair, said Lt. Michael D. Newell during a March 9 court hearing.

A preliminary hearing is set for March 27 at the Kenai Courthouse.

Jerzy Shedlock can be reached at

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Raoulduke 06/05/12 - 06:25 am
What The

The Clarion has spent more front page space covering the dismissal of a nurse from employment.Than they have this outrageous child abuse.Do you not think the latter is a great deal more important.Than an adults employment loss? The adult can go get another job.The child is probably scarred for life.

For his lite girl
For his lite girl 11/17/12 - 07:43 pm
So so sad.. Please read!!

For all of you that has commented .. I know the mother of John blackmans daughter, she is very young so hopefully will not remember any of this. For the mother of the little boy and the mother of her little girl(both of whom have cases against John), if you have any information regarding John that can help with their case, please come forward. This man is a Monster, the person that posted information about k owing the woman that was previously married to this man, I urge you to come forward and help these two woman who were both victims of domestic violence as well as their children, help them by coming forward and releasing any information you know to soldotna police who can inform their attorneys! you can really help their case please come forward and say something call the Soldotna Police Department OR call the DAs office please, please!! This is a total of three women that has been victims of domestic violence!that history of domestic violence should be enough to put him away for a long time and the judge that let him get out on $2500 bail should not be a judge anymore!! I would not be surprised if there is a lot more to this and somebody got paid off to let him out on a bail like that it makes me sick and I feel for that little boy his little girl and both of their mothers and the families that have to deal with that and to top it off John's family thinks he is completely innocent even with these three women that have come forward about his history of domestic violence!! This is not right and proves that the court system can be very corrupt and Unjust!

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