Wrangell Sentinel -

By Dan Rudy 

Salard trial began Monday


The trial for Greg Salard began in Juneau on Monday. The former Wrangell physician faces three felony charges related to the possession and distribution of child pornography, following a five-month investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The U.S. District Court clerk’s office in Juneau anticipated the trial will last through the week, with Judge Timothy Burgess presiding.

Salard was arrested at his home on October 15, 2014, with charges filed the following day. Citing this development and other financial obligations, Salard requested that a court-appointed defender represent him. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Prior to his arrest, FBI investigators had been monitoring a peer-to-peer file sharing network engaged in exchanging pornographic material. Prosecutors allege an IP address linked Salard to this network and that from February 2014 until his arrest he had made available at least 104 files containing videos and images suspected of being child pornography.

A laptop in his home at the time of the search was in the process of having its files erased, though prosecutors say a fuller forensic examination has since yielded images, videos, registry files and other information indicating illegal activity.

In addition to these charges, in April, while in jail, Salard was charged with being a fugitive from justice by the state of Alaska, as Louisiana prepares for extradition for a charge of aggravated rape. The charge stems from allegations made in 2007 of child sexual abuse that had occurred since 2004.

In making its case, the government intends to call on FBI investigators, an arresting officer and a software expert as witnesses. Prosecutors also have invited the alleged victim of Salard’s molestation charges in Louisiana to speak.

Prosecutors also intend to show jurors items of evidence found on Salard’s computers, including videos depicting child pornography. In the government’s trial brief, it says counseling may be made available for jurors and court personnel after the trial following exposure to such material.

According to the U.S. District Attorney’s office, if convicted of all three charges, Salard faces a minimum statutory penalty of up to 20 years imprisonment, with possible life imprisonment if convicted of the rape charge in Louisiana.

Trial dates had previously been moved from January, February and May after Salard’s defense said more time was needed to forensically evaluate his computer. A further motion to compel production of discovery filed on July 17 was opposed by the prosecution, as a motions deadline was previously set for June 26.

Salard previously worked as a physician specializing in family practice. He was employed by Alaska Island Community Services and had been chief of staff at Wrangell Medical Center. Both suspended Salard’s hospital privileges after his arrest, and he is now no longer employed by either organization.


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