Child psychiatrist admits child porn charge

2011-08-24T13:15:00Z 2014-05-16T11:47:08Z Child psychiatrist admits child porn charge

By CLAIR JOHNSON

Of The Gazette Staff

The Billings Gazette
August 24, 2011 1:15 pm  • 

A Billings child psychiatrist admitted Wednesday in federal court that he possessed child pornography.

James H. Peak, 49, pleaded guilty to one count of possession during his first court appearance before Senior U.S. District Judge Jack Shanstrom.

Peak did not dispute any of the evidence offered by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marcia Hurd during the 25-minute hearing.

Peak’s attorney, Jay Lansing, said Peak declined to comment.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office also had no comment on the case.

Peak reported himself to federal law enforcement officers in February and cooperated with a postal inspector to provide material he had collected and credit card receipts proving his purchases.

Peak admitted that he bought and received the material through the mail. He told investigators that he would collect child porn and then destroy it numerous times over the years, Hurd said. Talking about his activities was a relief, she said.

Peak had movies that contained child porn, but it was not the graphic images found in most child porn cases, Hurd said. There was no evidence that Peak used a computer to find or save the material, she said.

Most child porn cases involve people using computers to receive, possess or distribute the material, which often are of prepubescent children and show children engaged in violent, sadistic or masochistic abuse.

Peak, a child and adolescent psychiatrist, was suspended from Billings Clinic, where he had worked since 1994. He voluntarily surrendered his medical license.

Peak faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a maximum $250,000 fine. A plea agreement calls for the prosecutor to recommend a downward departure from an unspecified sentencing guideline range because of Peak’s “extraordinary acceptance of responsibility.”

Shanstrom set sentencing for Nov. 16 and continued Peak’s release.

Contact Clair Johnson at cjohnson@billingsgazette.com or 657-1282.

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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