Ex-Cop Admits Sexually Abusing Hundreds of Children

Former cop admits molesting hundreds of children.

ByABC News
March 10, 2011, 3:39 PM

March 14, 2011— -- A former Florida police officer told to a judge that he molested hundreds of girls as he was being sentenced in Putnam County, Fla. earlier this week.

The state's attorney's office said Paul Joseph Blair, 60, pleaded no contest to two counts of sexual battery to a minor and received a 25-year sentence. He committed the crimes against two girls between the ages of 12 and 18.

In court, Blair said he molested between 200 and 300 other girls and that he's been a pedophile his entire life.

Despite his confession, a state's attorney spokeswoman said Blair cannot be charged based on his words alone.

"That confession alone isn't proof. Victims have to get matched up to that confession," said the spokeswoman, Shannon Peters.

Peters said that investigations into other possible crimes are ongoing.

Blair also told the judge that he has an illness that requires an operation, but he doesn't want the operation. He did not specify the illness, but implied he will die without the proper treatment.

His defense attorney, Mitch Wrenn, couldn't go into specifics because of privacy laws, but said Blair has health issues that could cause problems for him in the future. Wrenn said the illness was a reason why the state's attorney's office agreed to the plea deal that spared Blair a life sentence.

Blair is in the Putnam County jail awaiting transfer to state prison, and the jail does not permit media interviews with inmates.

Peters said Blair did not portray himself as a cop during the incidents with either of the two girls, and it was unclear if he did so during encounters with other children.

Mental health experts said finding out the person who molested them was a law enforcement officer could add to the trauma the victims already are experiencing.

"They are hurt, disappointed and angry that someone who has the training and experience of being police would act toward them in that way," said Dr. Reid Finlayson, assistant professor of psychiatry at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. "It damages the person even more by undermining their trust in legitimate authority, help and support."