Dowling, 52, was charged with three counts of possessing child pornography. He was ordered held on $9,000 bond. It is unclear if he has acquired the services of an attorney.
According to the probable cause affidavit, investigators with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office received a tip on June 6 from the South Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force about an IP address that was involved with distributing child pornography.
West Palm Beach police reportedly subpoenaed Comcast, who traced the IP address to the 300 block of Camellia Street off Holly Drive. Dowling is allegedly listed as the resident of that address.
Police searched Dowling’s home on July 18 and found a laptop that contained two videos and one image depicting the sexual abuse of children. When questioned about the laptop, Dowling reportedly said he was its sole user. He allegedly told police that he doesn’t watch child porn but that it could have popped up when he “wasn’t paying attention,” according to the affidavit.
Arrests for child pornography aren’t uncommon in South Florida. Just two months ago, a Sunrise man was arrested for charges relating to child pornography. Stanley Simms was arrested on May 8 on multiple possession of child pornography charges.
According to Sunrise police, Simms, 53, is accused of downloading child pornography on his computer between September 2012 and May 2013. Investigators found him by tracing his computer’s IP address through a file sharing network suspected of distributing child pornography. They subpoenaed Comcast to identify the owner of the IP address as Simms, sources say.
At the same time police were investigating him for the child pornography allegations, Simms was wanted by the FBI for questioning about an alleged sexual assault of a woman in December 2012. It does not appear as thought the sexual assault case and the child pornography case are related. Further details about the sexual assault case are not currently available.
When questioned by investigators about the child pornography files, Simms reportedly told them that he accidentally downloaded the files and would typically delete them. A federal warrant for his arrest was issued on June 7, 2013, but Simms purportedly fled to Jamaica on the same day.
Simms was arrested by Jamaican authorities in Ocho Rios and was deported back to the U.S., where he was taken into federal custody.
Possession of child pornography is a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison for each count. In addition to a lengthy prison sentence and steep fines, a conviction also requires lifetime registration in the national sex offender registry.
Individuals facing child pornography charges should hire an experienced defense lawyer to help guide them through the complex criminal justice system and obtain the best possible outcome.
South Florida Child Pornography Attorney
If you are involved in a child pornography case, then you should hire an attorney. Contact us to set up a free initial consultation and work with one of Florida’s most experienced child pornography attorneys.