An attorney, who represented victims of sexual abuse, was caught downloading child pornography, federal authorities claim. Michael T. Dolce, 53, had previously pushed to end statutes of limitations for child sexual battery cases, according to WPBF.
Officials said that FBI agents executed three search warrants, including on his vehicle and apartment in West Palm Beach, Florida.
“Entry into the residence occurred as a result of a forceful breach on the door when DOLCE did not respond to commands by law enforcement to come to the door,” the complaint stated. “Tactical surveillance and entry teams revealed that DOLCE was alone in the residence, awake on a bed at the time FBI personnel first knocked and announced at his door. Located directly adjacent to DOLCE on the bed was a Samsung laptop (SAMSUNG).”
Authorities claimed he was “actively downloading child pornography using peer-2-peer software.” They said they found multiple open windows that included or led them to illicit material.
“One sub-folder, titled ‘sweetie,’ featured an addition[al] sub-folder titled ‘Sweet-Pedo Stars,’ which featured child erotica and child pornography images of a single prepubescent minor female victim with the added watermark ‘PEDO STARs.'”
Federal authorities described female child victims estimated to be somewhere between 5 t0 8 years old, 6 to 10, and 9 to 11,
“FBI digital forensic examiners and filter teams conducted a review of the SAMSUNG,” investigators wrote. “As of 3/24/23, FBI personnel had identified one-thousand nine-hundred ninety-seven images and five videos of child pornography based upon known hash values for previously identified child pornography.”
Dolce conceded after prosecutors requested pretrial detention at a hearing on Thursday, but he reserved the right to revisit this topic later, online records show.
Speaking before the criminal allegations, he told WPBF he suffered sexual abuse as a 7 year old. Now the law firm Cohen Milstead fired him in light of the new case. Dolce had run their “Sexual Abuse, Sex Trafficking, and Domestic Abuse team.”
“The firm is stunned and saddened by these appalling allegations,” they told the outlet. “Michael Dolce was terminated and is no longer affiliated with the firm. We are focused on attending to the needs of our clients and staff, and continuing to cooperate fully with the investigation.”
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