TAMPA — The sister of a Port Richey physician on trial on child pornography charges testified Tuesday that she hid the sexual abuse Dr. Richard Carino inflicted upon her when they were young because he was the "most intellectually gifted" of her siblings.
"He told me my parents would never believe me and they would hate me," said Dawn Carino, fighting back tears.
She was 11 at the time; he was 16. Dawn Carino said she clawed as Richard Carino dragged her into a bathroom when their parents weren't home and forced her to perform a sex act on him.
"He told me it was normal. This is what every brother did," she said. "He told me he was teaching me this is what it would be like when I was older."
Prosecutors used her testimony to try to show that Carino, 48, has a propensity for sexual attraction to young children. He's on trial at the Tampa federal courthouse this week, charged with possession and receipt of child pornography over the Internet.
Earlier in the day, Richard Carino's ex-wife sobbed as she recalled the first time she discovered Carino had viewed child pornography at their home.
"I vomited," Autumn Carino said. "It made me physically ill."
Carino, a family-practice doctor who specialized in pain management, attracted federal law enforcement's attention in 2005 as the subject of a Drug Enforcement Administration investigation of illegally dispensing prescription drugs online.
When DEA agents executed a search warrant at his Port Richey office in July of that year, his wife told a detective that he had downloaded child porn at home.
Autumn Carino testified that she didn't realize her husband would get into so much trouble. She said she wanted to get help for him.