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By Dan Rudy 

Convicted doctor seeking new trial


Former Wrangell physician Greg Salard has applied for a new trial, ahead of his sentencing set for Dec. 3. In July a Juneau jury had found him guilty of two of three child pornography charges brought against him by federal prosecutors.

In documents filed Nov. 16, attorney Steven Wells contended there were legitimate grounds for a new trial to be held, citing mismanagement by Salard’s court-appointed defender, Cara McNamara.

Salard had been arrested on October 15, 2014, when a search warrant was executed at his Zimovia Highway home following a five-month investigation. Prosecutors had alleged Salard had been participating in a peer-to-peer file sharing network engaged in exchanging pornographic material, and a laptop was found on the premises containing illegal files.

In addition to the pornography charges, while in custody Salard was charged with being a fugitive from justice after the State of Louisiana filed charges against him for aggravated rape. That charge stems from past allegations of child sexual abuse that had occurred between 2004 and 2007.

After Salard’s dismissal of McNamara, Wells, his new counsel, reported his client had been unable to present testimony in his own defense during the trial. In particular, Wells writes McNamara had been unprepared to respond to these abuse charges.

In a deposition, Salard stated those allegations had stemmed from a “bitter” divorce proceeding. Hearings had been held by the Arkansas Department of Human Services, and a judge subsequently ruled the allegations lacked sufficient evidence to formally bring charges. Based on the nature of Salard’s arrest last year, Louisiana prosecutors reopened the case, and intend to extradite and try him for aggravated rape after sentencing concludes in Alaska.

In his filing, Wells alleged that McNamara had not been prepared to counter evidence federal prosecutors would likely have brought up in the pornography trial, and had declined offers of assistance by Salard’s attorney in Louisiana.

“Trial counsel presented no evidence nor made any argument other than a ‘reasonable doubt’ argument. This means that any testimony that Dr. Salard would have presented was not presented. As a result, Dr. Salard was not able to tell his story, one of the fundamental hallmarks of a ‘fair trial,’’ Wells wrote.

The request for new trial will postpone Salard’s sentencing hearing until Jan. 8 while it is being considered. For the pornography counts, he faces between 10 and 40 years’ imprisonment, and fines of up to $500,000. If brought to trial and convicted of the rape charge in Louisiana, Salard may be facing life imprisonment.

He remains imprisoned at Lemon Creek Correctional Facility in Juneau, to be remanded to a facility of the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ choosing after sentencing.


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