Crime

Attorney who fought against sex abuse convicted of child porn charges

Prosecutors said nearly 2,000 images and videos were recovered from the 54-year-old Florida man's laptop.

The Paul G. Rogers Federal Building U.S. Courthouse
Marta Lavandier / AP
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A Florida attorney who represented children who were alleged victims of sexual abuse has pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography.The U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday that Michael Thomas Dolce, 54, admitted to downloading child pornography to his personal laptop at his West Palm Beach apartment.According to court records, Dolce used peer-to-peer software to search for and download the illegal material, including prepubescent children.Prosecutors said nearly 2,000 images and videos were recovered from Dolce's laptop.Forensic evidence confirmed that Dolce was in the process of downloading child pornography files just before law enforcement seized his laptop on March 15 during the execution of a federal search warrant of his home.

Baltimore Archdiocese files for bankruptcy amid sexual abuse lawsuits
Baltimore Archdiocese files for bankruptcy amid sexual abuse lawsuits

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Archbishop William E. Lori had indicated the possibility of this move in a letter to over 500,000 parishioners on Sept. 5.

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The attorney was a partner at the Palm Beach Gardens office of Cohen Milstein but was fired after his arrest.

Dolce's LinkedIn profile, which has since been taken down, claimed his practice was "dedicated to representing survivors of sexual crimes, including child and adult victims, and adult survivors of child sexual abuse."

According to his Florida Bar member profile, Dolce had practiced law in the state since 1995.

Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 18.

Dolce faces up to 20 years in prison, lifetime supervised release and payment of restitution to his victims.

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse.

This story was originally published by Scott Sutton at Scripps News West Palm Beach.