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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Alaska

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Alaskan Physician Sentenced To 20 Years For Distributing And Receiving Child Pornography

Juneau, Alaska – An Alaskan physician was sentenced today to 20 years in prison for receiving and distributing child pornography, a lifetime term of supervised release, and a $25,000 fine, announced U.S. Attorney Karen. L. Loeffler.

Greg Alan Salard, 54, of Wrangell, Alaska, was found guilty on July 28, 2015, after a six-day trial before Chief U.S. District Judge Timothy M. Burgess.

According to evidence presented at trial, between June and October 2014, during an FBI investigation concerning the trading of child pornography using peer-to-peer (P2P) software, investigators discovered that an Internet Protocol (IP) address linked to Salard was used on multiple occasions to share files of known child pornography.  The evidence also showed that a laptop computer subsequently seized from Salard’s home contained the same P2P software used to share one of the images identified during the investigation.

Testimony regarding a forensic examination of the laptop demonstrated that the computer contained the child pornography video identified by investigators, as well as evidence of hundreds of other files of child pornography; the jury reviewed the contents of eleven of those files.  The testimony also showed that multiple searches had been run on the laptop for a term associated with child pornography, and videos of child pornography had been viewed on the computer.  Finally, the evidence introduced at trial revealed that a program designed to erase or “wipe” computer files had been used multiple times, including on the morning the search warrant was executed.

At sentencing, Judge Burgess focused on the defendant’s “extremely serious conduct,” and the “thoughtful, deliberate, and sophisticated way in which he obtained the material.”  Judge Burgess noted that Salard “was sophisticated enough to put [his child pornography] into files no one searching for it would know were child pornography…he was sophisticated enough to alter the default features of [the file-sharing program.  That was not an unintentional step…and only adds to the seriousness.”

Judge Burgess noted that the defendant had not appeared to come to terms with the fact that he had committed a crime and that there was no acknowledgement of guilt.  There is no first step toward rehabilitation.  Judge Burgess expressed concern with the fact that there was “nothing” to assure him that the defendant will not engage in child exploitation crimes in the future.

Finally, Judge Burgess also stated that the many letters of support submitted on behalf of the defendant did not capture his true nature.  “I think Dr. Salard is a sophisticated and manipulative person who was able to compartmentalize his life and deceive others,” said Judge Burgess.  “There is a dark and sinister side to his personality that let him get involved in this type of behavior and hide it from others.”

The FBI investigated the case, with assistance from the U.S. Forest Service; the Petersburg, Alaska, Police Department; the Wrangell, Alaska, Police Department; and the Juneau, Alaska, Police Department.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle Reardon of the District of Alaska, and Trial Attorney Leslie Williams Fisher of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice.  Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated February 12, 2016