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Orange County lawyer disbarred for possessing child pornography

SAN FRANCISCO — The California Supreme Court decided unanimously Thursday to disbar an Orange County lawyer who pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography.

The state’s highest court said Gary D. Grant should be stripped of his license to practice law because he accepted a plea bargain in which he admitted knowingly possessing pornographic images of minors.

Grant said he had an addiction to adult pornography, which he viewed on the Internet, but found child pornography repellent. In the course of obtaining adult pornography, Grant inadvertently received by email pornographic images involving girls under the age of 16 and immediately deleted them, he said.

He was arrested after being identified in a federal investigation that tracked child pornography websites.

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Grant, a civil litigator who has been practicing law since 1994, said he pleaded guilty because he and his attorney believed that viewing even a fleeting image of unsolicited child pornography violated the law.

A judge for the State Bar of California decided that Grant’s felony involved “moral turpitude” and that he should be disbarred. The bar’s review department recommended instead that Grant be suspended and placed on probation.

Justice Carol A. Corrigan, writing for the court, said Grant’s explanation about what happened contradicted his guilty plea.

“Grant pleaded guilty to the felony of knowingly possessing child pornography,” Corrigan wrote. “ His guilty plea establishes those facts as a matter of law. The only question here is whether that crime, as admitted by him, constitutes moral turpitude per se. It does.”

Twitter:@mauradolan

maura.dolan@latimes.com


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