Feds: South Florida attorney pleads guilty to possessing nearly 2,000 images of child porn

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – A 53-year-old South Florida attorney who formerly represented victims of child sexual abuse pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to possession of child pornography.

According to prosecutors, who announced the arrest on March 29, Michael T. Dolce admitted to downloading child pornography to his personal laptop at his West Palm Beach apartment.

According to his arrest affidavit, on March 15, FBI agents executed a search warrant at Dolce’s West Palm Beach apartment.

Detectives said they discovered Dolce actively downloading child sexual abuse material using peer-to-peer software.

Investigators said nearly 2,000 images and videos of child pornography were recovered from his devices.

According to a federal criminal complaint, the images and videos depicted girls as young as 5 years old.

Investigators said after confiscating Dolce’s phone, it was found unlocked with a background image featuring a female between the ages of 16 and 25 engaged in sexual intercourse with two men.

According to his LinkedIn profile, which was deleted after the allegations, Dolce was previously a partner at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll in Palm Beach Gardens and head of the firm’s sexual abuse, sex trafficking, and domestic abuse team.

“He (Dolce) has achieved multiple multi-million-dollar trial verdicts for his clients, as well as numerous settlements for survivors of sexual crimes, including child and adult victims, and adult survivors of child sexual abuse. Michael also played a pivotal role in helping to pass Florida’s 2010 legislation that repealed all statutes of limitation for civil and criminal prosecution of child sexual abuse,” his “about” section on LinkedIn read.

Screenshot of Michael Dolce's LinkedIn profile. (LinkedIn)

A spokesperson for the firm confirmed to Local 10 News that Dolce was fired after the allegations.

“The firm is stunned and saddened by these appalling allegations,” the spokesperson said in a statement back in March. “Michael Dolce was terminated and is no longer affiliated with the firm. We are focused on attending to the needs of our clients and staff, and continuing to cooperate fully with the investigation.”

Prosecutors said Dolce’s sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 18 at 10:30 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks.

He faces up to 20 years in prison, lifetime supervised release and payment of restitution to his victims, according to the Department of Justice.

Officials said the charges were brought about as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched by the DOJ in 2006 to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.


About the Author:

Ryan Mackey is a Digital Journalist at WPLG. He was born in Long Island, New York, and has lived in Sunrise, Florida since 1994.