Robert Dickey, D.C. pediatrician, pleads guilty to child pornography

Dickey faces 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Photo; Ari Hennessey

A well-known Southeast Washington pediatrician pleaded guilty Thursday to a single federal charge of possessing child pornography, officials say.

Robert Paul Dickey, a 74-year-old man who cared for thousands of children out of his 38th Street Southeast home, faces 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, admitted to federal agents after his May arrest that he visited child pornography sites.

Dickey was taken into custody on May 8, about a month after law enforcement officials first received a tip that Dickey has uploaded more than a dozen pornographic images depicting children to an online account.

During a sweep of his house and review of his computer, authorities discovered 132 pornographic images. When police arrived, they say they found Dickey in his personal office looking at child porn.

"It is unthinkable that someone whose profession involved caring for children, would exploit children," D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said in a statement.

Parents who entrusted Dickey with the care of their children were at first in disbelief over the allegations, but for some, that disbelief quickly turned into anger.

"It is just very disappointing," D.C. parent Erik Coleman, whose 5-year-old son saw Dickey, said in may. "My heart just dropped when I saw him."