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Port Richey physician convicted of child porn

TAMPA — A federal jury on Thursday convicted a Port Richey physician on six criminal charges relating to child pornography.

Dr. Richard Carino, 48, faces five to 20 years in prison for convictions on each of three counts of receipt of child porn and a maximum of 10 years in prison for convictions on each of three counts of possession of child porn. He will be sentenced before Chief U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Kovachevich on Oct. 3.

During a four-day trial, jurors learned that Carino first attracted the attention of federal authorities during a Drug Enforcement Administration investigation into doctor shopping. Carino is a family practice doctor who specialized in pain management.

When DEA agents executed a search warrant at his office in July 2005, Carino's wife told a detective she had recently discovered her husband downloading child pornography at home.

Investigators recovered illegal images from both Carino's office and home computers.

Autumn Carino, who is now divorced from Richard Carino, testified as the government's star witness. But defense attorney Charles Medlin tried to discredit her accounts and question her character during closing arguments.

Medlin said Autumn Carino told one story at trial about claiming to have found Richard Carino viewing child porn, but a police detective testified that she gave him a different account. Medlin repeatedly called Autumn Carino a liar during closing arguments, telling jurors that if they convicted Richard Carino, they did so based on her lies.

"A vote of not guilty is not a vote for child pornography," Medlin argued. "What it means is you're not going to send somebody with a conviction for this based on the lies of Autumn Carino."

Richard Carino's attorneys called no witnesses at trial and presented no evidence during his defense.

Port Richey physician convicted of child porn 07/10/08 [Last modified: Friday, July 18, 2008 11:07am]
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