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Pediatrician pleads guilty to possession of child pornography

WASHINGTON—Robert Paul Dickey, 74, a pediatrician from Washington, D.C., pled guilty today to a federal charge of possession of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen, Jr.; Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; and Cathy L. Lanier, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

Dickey entered the guilty plea in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The Honorable Robert L. Wilkins is to sentence him on December 17, 2013. Dickey faces a maximum of 20 years of imprisonment, as well as a fine of $250,000. He also will be required to register as a sex offender for 15 years following his release from prison. Also, Dickey must forfeit a computer hard drive that was seized by law enforcement during the investigation.

According to the government’s evidence, on April 10, 2013, law enforcement received a cyber tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. That cyber tip contained information that Dickey uploaded 14 images of child pornography using a Microsoft account.

Based on that cyber tip, on May 8, 2013, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant on Dickey’s home office in Southeast Washington. Pursuant to that search warrant, law enforcement recovered various electronic devices. After a forensic review of those items, law enforcement recovered approximately 132 images of child pornography. Dickey was arrested on May 8, 2013, and has remained in custody ever since.

“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 Machen. “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. We thank the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and our law enforcement partners from the FBI and MPD for their vigilance on behalf of those victims.”

“Dr. Dickey was entrusted to care for our most precious resource, our children, but today he admitted to violating that trust by uploading child pornography to a shared website,” said Assistant Director Parlave. “The FBI will continue to actively investigate crimes against children and pursue those who victimize innocent children.”

“It is unthinkable that someone whose profession involved caring for children would exploit children,” said Police Chief Lanier. “The Metropolitan Police Department and our local law enforcement partners are committed to bringing criminals who exploit the vulnerable to justice.”

This case was brought as part of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood initiative and investigated by the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force, which includes members of the FBI’s Washington Field Office and MPD. In February 2006, the Attorney General created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

In announcing the guilty plea, U.S. Attorney Machen, Assistant Director Parlave, and Chief Lanier praised the work of the MPD detectives and special agents of the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force. They also commended the efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorney Ari Redbord, who is prosecuting the case.

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