Guilty plea in child porn case, probably no prison time because of illness


A Minneapolis businessman pleaded guilty to a single count of possession of child pornography but under the agreement, he is unlikely to spend any time in prison, due to the debilitating dementia from which he suffers, Hennepin County Mike Freeman announced Tuesday.

Gregory Matthew Dolphin, 63, of Minneapolis pleaded guilty Monday when his trial was scheduled to begin. He will be sentenced Jan. 16 and is expected to receive a stay of imposition for five years. That means if he follows all of the conditions of probation, including strict monitoring of his computer usage, the felony will be reduced to a misdemeanor.

Dolphin’s attorney had produced records that his client suffers from frontotemporal dementia, or frontal lobe dementia. The disorder tends to strike people in their forties and fifties and worsen over years, eventually requiring 24-hour care. Because it attacks the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain, sufferers experience extreme changes in behavior including inappropriate actions, lack of judgment and inhibition and repetitive compulsive behavior.

As a result, Dolphin also is expected to be sentenced to 365 days on electronic home monitoring, rather than time in the county work house. He also must register as a predatory offender.
“We believe this is a just outcome that protects the public but acknowledges a tragic turn in Mr. Dolphin’s health which may have caused his actions,” Freeman said. “This agreement allows him to eventually only have a misdemeanor on his record while allowing his caregivers to make sure he is not downloading child pornography and hurting the victims of that disgusting crime.”

Dolphin is the former CEO of Dolphin Fast Food and a minority shareholder in companies such as Dolphin Staffing.

According to the criminal complaint, social media companies are required to inform police agencies if they discover that their programs are being used to acquire or distribute child pornography. Police refer to these as cybertips and a number of them came to the Minneapolis Police Department on Dolphin.

Based on the cybertips, Minneapolis police obtained search warrants on Dolphin’s media devices, his home and his office, the complaint states.

Police investigators found numerous images on Dolphin’s media devices including video showing a juvenile girl being sexually abused, according to the complaint.