WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- A federal judge sentenced a D.C. pediatrician on Tuesday to 18 months in prison -- but that was way less than sentencing guidelines.
Judge Robert Wilkins was swayed by Dr. Robert Dickey's decades of service to under-served patients in Southeast DC. More than a dozen of those patients and their parents testified to Dickey's dedication and character.
Police found no evidence that Dickey, 74, abused any of his patients. But they did find 132 images of child porn in the home where he practiced medicine. The prosecutor described five of those images as being "sadomasochistic." And Assistant US Attorney Ari Redbord said investigators also found more than tens of thousands of images he described as "child erotica." He says it's clear Dickey has a "sexual interest in children."
Dickey denies that, but he did plead guilty. Under questioning from the judge, he said he downloaded the images for educational purposes.
One parent after another testified that Dickey would pick up the phone day and night. They said their children loved his gentle manner. And they said if people couldn't pay, he would treat them for free. His lawyer said Dickey, "lived to serve the community."
The judge, the prosecutor, and his lawyer all struggled to reconcile "Dr D," the kindly "old country doctor," with the man who would download child porn just down the hall from the rooms where he examined and counseled young children.
Judge Wilkins called the images "very, very sick," and told Dickey he "hoped he would get help." Dickey replied that he "looked forward" to getting help. He and his lawyer says he's struggling with mental issues.
In addition to a year and a half behind bars, Dickey will face a decade of supervised release, and he will have to register as a sex offender.