Dr. Jay Palmatier, Phd, a psychologist with the Missoula Mental Health Center, has been charged in Missoula Justice Court with one count of sexual abuse of children for possessing child pornography. 

Deputy Missoula County Attorney Jennifer Clark said the charges were filed in late June in Missoula Justice Court.

"In June of this year, Detective Chris Shermer with the Missoula Police Department received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children where they had received some information from Google about a photo that portrayed child pornography," Clark said. "A subsequent investigation showed that the email belonged to Jay Palmatier and he was eventually charged with possession of child pornography. The actual charge is sexual abuse of children and it is under the subsection of possession of material."

According to the charging documents, Google contacted the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children on May 4. Detective Shermer received the information in June and traced the image through the internet provider to the account owned by Jay Palmatier. Shermer then contacted Palmatier who admitted having the image.

Clark said the maximum penalty for the felony count of sexual abuse of children is 10 years in prison with a fine of up to $10,000.

"The case was filed in Missoula District Court on July 10th, and we do not have an arraignment date set. It will likely be later this week or early next week."