Wrangell Doctor Indicted On Child Porn Charges

A federal grand jury indicted a Wrangell doctor Wednesday on child porn charges.

The grand jury charged Wrangell doctor Greg Salard with two felonies for distribution and possession of child pornography.

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Federal law enforcement officers arrested him last week after executing a search warrant at his residence.

The indictment alleges Salard was in possession of child pornography on the day of his arrest.

A Federal Bureau of Investigation agent alleges in an affidavit that Salard was also making child pornography available to others through a file-sharing network.

A conviction for distribution of child pornography carries a penalty of five to 20 years in prison, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Alaska. Possession of child pornography has a maximum 10-year sentence. Both counts carry fines up to $250,000 and the possibility of lifetime supervised release after imprisonment.

According to the press release, the arrest and indictment are part of the Department of Justice’s efforts to increase federal prosecutions of sexual predators and to reduce Internet crimes against children.

Salard is one of four medical providers in Wrangell. He is employed as a family doctor by Alaska Island Community Services and serves under a contract with Wrangell Medical Center, the community’s hospital.

AICS Executive Director Mark Walker said both organizations suspended Salard’s medical privileges after the arrest.

“We know that he’s been charged, but we know nothing more,” Walker said. “We don’t know what his pleading is going to be and the outcome of the case. But at this point he’s not practicing for us or the hospital.”

Walker said he found no reason in the workplace to suspect Salard would be arrested for child pornography.

“There were never any complaints that relate to anything like this,” Walker said. “So we’re completely taken by surprise by all of this and dismayed about the impact on the community and want to do whatever we can to help anybody that is concerned about it, answer any questions, provide counseling for them.”

Salard started practicing in Wrangell in 2009. Walker stressed that job applicants go through a rigorous hiring process that includes a background check.

The hospital suspended Salard’s medical privileges in 2011 and restored them in 2013 after court action and controversy in the community.

The State Medical Board is reviewing the case and may take action on Salard’s medical license in the next few weeks.

Salard is at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center in Juneau awaiting his arraignment in U.S. District Court Oct. 28. At his last court appearance, he requested a public defender and said he had been fired from his job.