A child and adolescent psychiatrist at Billings Clinic was suspended in February and is no longer employed at the hospital, according to a letter the hospital has sent to the doctor’s patients.
Dr. James Peak, who had worked at Billings Clinic since 1994, is under investigation for allegedly possessing child pornography at his home, Billings Clinic Director of Psychiatry Lyle Seavy stated in the letter.
“Although Billings Clinic has not been included in the investigation, we understand that charges may be brought against Dr. Peak,” Seavy said.
“There is no evidence that Dr. Peak’s alleged activity occurred at work, but we take this matter very seriously.”
Jessica T. Fehr, an assistant U.S. Attorney, would not comment on whether Peak is under investigation.
Attempts to reach Peak at his Billings residence were unsuccessful.
Upon learning of the investigation, Billings Clinic immediately suspended Peak and he was reported to the medical regulatory authorities, said Dr. Mark Rumans, Billings Clinic’s physician in chief.
Billings Clinic conducted its own independent, internal review and requested a review of patient charts by outside physicians. Neither revealed any patient complaints or evidence of child pornography on his work computer, Rumans said.
“We’re sad,” Rumans said, adding that never in his 25-year tenure at Billings Clinic has something of this nature occurred. “We’re shocked and we’re troubled. We are reaching out to his patients and providing a resource for them to get their questions answered about this very troubling episode that occurred. Our focus is to support our patients and families.”
Peak was one of four child and adolescent psychiatrists practicing at Billings Clinic. Peak’s caseload is being handled by his former colleagues and a temporary psychiatrist.
Billings Clinic has opened a dedicated Patient Resource Center and is staffing it with a clinic liaison who can answer questions about the matter in person. The Patient Resource Center is designed to assist parents and guardians in talking with their child about this topic; connect parents or guardians to a therapist if they don’t already have one or to another resource that can help answer additional questions; and assist patients with a continuity of care if needed.
Peak’s patients are encouraged to call 657-4681 or 877-827-0516 if they have questions or to schedule an appointment with the Patient Resource Center.