Pediatrician pleads guilty to child porn charge - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Pediatrician pleads guilty to child porn charge

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A former pediatrician from Guntersville pleaded guilty Thursday to possessing child pornography.

Michael Roy Sharpe, 64, entered the guilty plea Thursday morning in federal court, according to a statement issued by U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance. The guilty plea was for one count of possessing child pornography, a charge Sharpe was indicted with last year.

Vance said Sharpe owned a cell phone with pictures of child pornography on it.  In addition, Vance said evidence presented in court Thursday showed a confession from Sharpe to the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners on Feb. 25, 2009, admitting he had had sexual intercourse with a 15-year-old girl. Sharpe was a pediatrician at the time and the girl was his patient.  Vance said he had been communicating with her outside of a doctor/patient relationship since she was 14.

During Sharpe's meeting with the Board of Medical Examiners, he allowed board members to look at his phone, which revealed sexually explicit text messages from the child and pornographic images of her.

"Our office sees an alarming number of child exploitation cases wherein the perpetrator has the outward appearance of being an upstanding citizen and community leader," Vance said in the statement. "We have prosecuted people from all walks of life for sex crimes against children and will continue to prosecute them, regardless of profession or standing in the community. Parents must,  however, remain alert and aware of who is communicating with their children."

No sentencing date has been set. Vance said Sharpe remains in federal custody, where he has been since his arrest Oct. 6, 2009.

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