News and Press Releases

James H. Peak Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on December 7, 2011, before Senior U.S. District Judge Jack D. Shanstrom, JAMES H. PEAK, a 49-year-old resident of Billings, appeared for sentencing. PEAK was sentenced to a term of:

Prison: 12 months and 1 day

Special Assessment: $100

Supervised Release: life

PEAK was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to possession of child pornography.

In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marcia K. Hurd, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

In February of 2011, PEAK contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Billings to report that he had received a mailing offering child pornography for sale. The FBI relayed PEAK's contact information to a U.S. Postal Inspector who made arrangements to meet with PEAK in Billings to discuss the matter. During that interview, PEAK admitted that he had a collection of child pornography and child erotica in movie format at his residence in Billings that he had received via the U.S. mail and that it was an interest he had fought for many years. PEAK described how he basically led one life at work and a separate life at home; how he would collect and then destroy that collection numerous times over the years; and how he was relieved to finally be able to talk to someone about it.

PEAK consented to a search of his residence and was extremely helpful in identifying and collecting all the items, including printing credit card statements which confirmed his purchases of the offending movies.

The agent reviewed all of the items turned over by PEAK and found numerous movies that he had ordered that contained passages of child pornography. While the passages did satisfy the definition of child pornography, the child pornography was not of the graphic nature found in most cases. Further, there was absolutely nothing on his computer, and no evidence that PEAK had used the Internet to look for or save any child pornography.

Following his interview, PEAK voluntarily surrendered his medical license, notified the hospital and clinic, and immediately entered and successfully completed a 90-day inpatient treatment program in Texas. While in treatment, PEAK passed a polygraph examination confirming that he had not engaged in any hands-on conduct with children. Within a day of his return, PEAK enrolled in sexual offender treatment in Billings, and is currently attending regular AA and Sex Addicts Anonymous meetings.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that PEAK will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, PEAK does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.

The investigation was a cooperative effort between the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.



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