by Travis Mateer
The latest episode of Union of the Unwanted features Craig Sawman Sayer on the very difficult topic of child sex trafficking. Even though profits for this criminal enterprise are in the billions, good people in good places like Missoula would prefer to pretend like it doesn’t happen in their own back yard.
They are wrong.
In 2015 a psychologist who I knew from my work at the Poverello Center was charged with possession of child pornography. As a psychologist, Jay Palmatier had plenty of interaction with vulnerable populations. Did he ever take advantage of the power he had over mentally unstable people? I don’t know, but I DO know his arrest was a shock to those in the non-profit world in Missoula.
Another hint that local power structures are involved in the child sex industry came from a local contractor who wouldn’t stop running his mouth with my wife when he was bidding a job.
The contractor kept making comments to my wife about my young daughter and how my wife needs to protect her because predators are everywhere. To give her an example, He said he worked as a volunteer for the Sheriff’s Department and one of their stings nabbed a cop who was using his neighbor’s internet connection to download child porn.
My wife was so disturbed by his comments that she called me at work, and I called Ethan Smith, the Crime Prevention Officer for Missoula PD, to confirm that this guy had actually volunteered for the Sheriff’s office. Smith confirmed he had.
The last red flag that power and deep pockets are involved in this atrocious market in human exploitation comes from a NBC Montana headline, titled Lawsuit accuses Goguen, associates of ‘sexual enterprise’, racketeering.
For a quick reminder, Michael Goguen’s Two Bear Capital is invested in Missoula’s biotech industry, which I wrote about back in July. How shocking that a man who sees human health as a commodity would stand accused of engaging in human trafficking.
Here is an excerpt from the NBC article (note: Amyntor is a private security company):
The 135-page lawsuit filed Friday by Marshall and three other plaintiffs who worked for Amyntor goes into explicit details about what the plaintiffs call the “Goguen Sexual Enterprise,” with claims of sex trafficking and Marshall’s account of his time working for Goguen.
There is nothing in the article that indicates Goguen is involved in trafficking minors for sex. Instead, he’s accused of more conventional philandering. But it’s clear from the earlier reporting I referenced that Goguen has had some interesting relationships with the local power structure in Whitefish.
Just ask Whitefish Police Chief Bill Dial.