Friday, March 4, 2011

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Cyber Crimes Unit Arrests Austin Dentist For Child Pornography Possession

AUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s Cyber Crimes Unit arrested Austin resident and licensed dentist Michael McCarty, 64, Thursday for possession of child pornography.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children referred the case to the Cyber Crimes Unit after receiving a CyberTip, which indicated that an Internet user had illegally uploaded images of child pornography to a Microsoft Network (MSN) Group.

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Michael McCarty

According to Cyber Crimes Unit investigators, the defendant used e-mail accounts to upload illicit images to an online group. The State’s preliminary investigation led Cyber Crimes Unit officers to Dr. McCarty’s business and residence. While conducting searches at both locations, Cyber Crimes Unit officers discovered images of child pornography. A search of the defendant’s briefcase also revealed CDs with multiple images and movies containing child pornography.

Dr. McCarty is a licensed cosmetic dentist and general practitioner in Austin, Texas, who was previously recognized as a “Texas Monthly Super Dentist.”

Under Texas law, child pornography possession is a third-degree felony. If convicted, Dr. McCarty faces two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. The Travis County District Attorney’s Office will prosecute the case.

Attorney General Abbott has earned a national reputation for aggressively arresting and prosecuting online child predators. In 2003, he created the Cyber Crimes Unit, which protects children from online sexual exploitation. The Cyber Crimes Unit and the Fugitive Unit, which locates sex offenders who have violated the terms of their parole, have combined to arrest more than 2,000 sex offenders.

For more information on Attorney General Abbott’s efforts to crack down on sex predators, visit www.texasattorneygeneral.gov or call (800) 252-8011.

Update: The arrest warrant and media reports about this arrest indicate the defendant's work is affiliated with Austin Smiles Dentistry. That dental practice is not affiliated with the nonprofit Austin Smiles, The Austin Plastic Surgery Foundation.