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Pasco doctor's defense in child porn trial: His ex-wife lied

TAMPA — An attorney defending a Port Richey physician against child pornography charges called the prosecution's star witness — the doctor's ex-wife — a liar Wednesday during closing arguments.

Jurors will resume deliberations today in the case against Dr. Richard Carino, 48, charged with three counts of possession and three counts of receipt of child pornography.

Defense attorney Charles Medlin said that Carino's ex-wife, Autumn Carino, was the only person to claim to have seen Richard Carino viewing child pornography. He attacked her credibility, noting that she took no immediate steps to remove her two young children from a previous marriage from the home.

Medlin said she told one story on the witness stand about how she discovered her husband viewing the illegal images and videos, but a detective gave a different account of how she said she found out.

Medlin called Autumn Carino's recollection "figments of some demented motivation that she has for her husband."

"This case rests on whether you believe Autumn Carino," Medlin said.

She testified this week that she discovered her husband was watching child porn around the Fourth of July weekend in 2005, and reported it as officers executed a search warrant on Richard Carino's office during a Drug Enforcement Administration inquiry into doctor shopping. Investigators found child pornography on his work and home computers.

His attorneys called no witnesses during his defense.

Medlin also said it was a sign of a weak case that the government had Carino's sister testify that he sexually abused her when she was 11 and he was 16.

"It is sad for her and it is sad for the family. It is also sad that our very professional set of prosecutors bring her in to try to inflame you to convict Dr. Carino of a completely different set of facts and circumstances," Medlin told jurors.

To that, Assistant U.S. Attorney Laurel Moore responded, "A sign of weakness, a sign of desperation, is to stand before you and attack the credibility of Autumn Carino (rather) than to discuss the evidence in the case."

Kevin Graham can be reached at kgraham@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3433.

Pasco doctor's defense in child porn trial: His ex-wife lied 07/09/08 [Last modified: Thursday, July 10, 2008 7:08pm]
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