Michael David McCarthy of Hollywood, Florida was arrested for child pornography possession on March 16. The charges came after police searching for explosives in his Hollywood home allegedly found a stash of child pornography instead. McCarthy was subsequently charged with 83 counts of possession of child pornography and has been booked at Miami-Dade County Jail. It is not clear whether McCarthy has been granted bail bond or has retained a private criminal defense attorney.
The police report indicates that a nurse from Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood contacted them, saying that McCarthy, 54, had told her that he “had enough stuff to take out three city blocks and he keeps a machine gun by the front door.” It is not clear what he was being treated for in the hospital. Police launched an investigation in response to the claim and went to McCarthy’s residence, located on the 2500 block of Lincoln Street in Hollywood, to talk to McCarthy.
McCarthy reportedly cooperated with the officers, stepping outside when they asked him to. Officers say that McCarthy gave them his permission to enter the residence and conduct a search by moving a chair out of the way of the door for them when they asked if they could conduct a search. Police searched the premises and did not discover any explosives or other weapons, and McCarthy was not charged with weapon or explosive possession.
However, police officers allegedly discovered something else. “Officers saw in plain view child pornography on the monitor of his computer,” said one detective. The images were reportedly being used as a screen saver slideshow on a monitor and featured underage girls exposing their genitals or engaging in sexual acts with older men.
According to a detective involved in the investigation, police “confiscated the monitor and a subsequent investigation revealed that there were at least 83 [child pornography] photographs.” Police also reportedly confiscated two surveillance photographs that were pointed towards the computer monitor with the pornographic screensaver, a Mako Viper desktop computer, two Dell desktop computers, a CompUSA hard drive, and other media storage devices such as DVDs and VHS tapes after obtaining a search warrant.
The girls in the photographs are suspected to be anywhere from 6 to 14 years old and are either engaging in sex acts with older men, exposing themselves, or posing sexually. Police report that McCarthy believes that the child pornography depicts “children being tortured” but that he thinks of it as art. His viewpoint “makes absolutely no sense,” commented one deputy.
Police are not sure at this time whether McCarthy took any of the pictures himself or has harmed any children. They are asking parents who live in McCarthy’s neighborhood to show their children pictures of McCarthy and ask them if he has ever approached them, reporting any potential instances of child abuse.
McCarthy told arresting officers that he has bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. He was taken to Memorial Regional Hospital after his arrest for treatment for undisclosed medical problems. McCarthy is not a registered sex offender in Florida and his last arrest was in 1976, over 30 years ago, for marijuana possession.