Kiddie Porn Case Wrecks Newport Beach Lawyer's Career, Sends Him to Prison



Carlton Neil Morse
grew up in Tustin with a loving family, joined the Boy Scouts, became an Eagle Scout and eventually graduated from USC Law School, which helped him land a great job at a Newport Beach law firm.

Life was outwardly great for Morse.

But he couldn't handle his attraction to other men, turned to wine–lots of wine–to mask his fears, and began collecting child pornography on his computer.

Many of the images depicted “vile” sexual abuse of “very young boys,” according to court records.
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Law enforcement agents discovered the cache because Morse had used a peer-to-peer file sharing program to download the illegal images and a federal grand jury issued an indictment in August 2011.

Morse initially pleaded not guilty, but later signed a plea bargain and, through his criminal defense lawyer, sought a punishment of probation with orders for therapy.

Believing that Morse, 31, may be a future, physical risk to young boys, Assistant United States Attorney Robert J. Keenan sought a term of 96 months in prison and lifetime probation.

But this month, federal Judge Andrew J. Guilford decided to send the lawyer away for 57 months. Morse is presently in custody at the Santa Ana Jail and awaiting transferred to a prison. When he emerges, he'll be subject to seven years of probation.  

The California State Bar stripped Morse, who worked at Irell & Manella, of his license to practice law earlier this year.
 
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CNN-featured investigative reporter R. Scott Moxley has won Journalist of the Year honors at the Los Angeles Press Club; been named Distinguished Journalist of the Year by the LA Society of Professional Journalists; earned six dozen other reporting awards; obtained one of the last exclusive prison interviews with Charles Manson disciple Susan Atkins; won inclusion in Jeffrey Toobin’s The Best American Crime Reporting for his coverage of a white supremacist’s senseless murder of a beloved Vietnamese refugee; launched multi-year probes that resulted in the FBI arrests and convictions of the top three ranking members of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department; and gained praise from New York Times Magazine writers for his “herculean job” exposing entrenched Southern California law enforcement corruption.

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