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D.C. pediatrician pleads guilty to child porn charge

Thursday - 9/12/2013, 9:00pm  ET

WASHINGTON - A D.C. pediatrician who has practiced for decades in the District has pleaded guilty to to a single charge of possession of child pornography.

Dr. Robert P. Dickey, 74, pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday. A sentencing hearing is set for Dec. 17. He faces up to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and will be required to register as a sex offender for 15 years after he is released from prison, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

"Dr. Dickey was entrusted to care for the well-being of children, but he instead chose to collect images of their sexual exploitation," said U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen Jr. in a statement. "Victims of child pornography are harmed when images of their abuse are swapped over the Internet for years, haunting the victims long after their initial abuse."

Investigators served a search warrant at Dickey's office, which is inside his home, in May and recovered more than 130 images of child pornography from hard drives. Police were sent to the home based on a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that Dickey had uploaded 14 images of child pornography.

When police entered his home, Dickey was viewing child pornography on a website. Dickey admitted to visiting porn sites and downloading child pornographic images as officers were searching his office, according to court documents.

Officials said at the time of his May arrest that there was no indication the images on his computer were of his patients.

He was initially charged with one count of receiving child pornography in addition to the possession charge.

Due to incorrect information given to WTOP, this story has been modified to correct the number of years Dickey could serve in prison.

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