Local pediatric specialist charged in child porn case released on bond

John Middlemiss Palmer. (Texas Attorney General's Office photo)
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TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) Dr. John Middlemiss Palmer, 55, a Temple pediatric pulmonary physician who was initially ordered held without bond after he was arrested and charged with possession of child pornography, has been released on an unsecured $25,000 bond, according to court records.

Under the terms of the bond, Palmer is required to cooperate in the collection of a DNA sample should one be authorized, and to advise officials before changing residence or phone number.

Palmer was arrested on April 18 and was transferred to the custody of U.S. marshals the next day.

He made an initial appearance on April 19 before a U.S. magistrate who ordered him to remain in custody pending a hearing Tuesday.

State investigators obtained a warrant and searched Palmer’s medical office on April 18 at McLane Children’s Hospital at 1901 SW H K Dodgen Loop in Temple after discovering that child pornography had been uploaded to an online storage account he used, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said after the arrest.

During the search, discovered that the top left drawer of Palmer’s desk was locked.

A hospital locksmith was summoned and after the drawer was unlocked, investigators discovered a laptop computer and three external hard drives, according to a warrant affidavit.

Investigators also found a set of business cards for John Middlemiss Palmer M.D. on top of the digital storage devices, the affidavit said.

They seized the laptop and the hard drives and during a forensic review of one of the drives discovered “numerous images depicting…images of prepubescent children engaged in sexually explicit conduct.”

Several other devices were seized from Palmer’s home for examination by the attorney general’s Digital Forensics Unit, Paxton said.

“Palmer denied any involvement with child pornography,” Paxton said.

The hospital announced on April 20 that Palmer had been fired.

“We were shocked and disappointed when we learned of the investigation and arrest of Dr. Palmer. We are cooperating with authorities in the ongoing investigation. Dr. Palmer has been terminated and is no longer working at our facilities. The safety of our patients is always our primary concern,” the hospital said.

On April 23, the Texas Medical temporarily suspended Palmer’s medical license “after determining his continuation in the practice of medicine poses a continuing threat to the public.”