A Wasilla man is accused of touching an underage girl and photographing his crime.

James Ryan Montgomery, 37, is charged with sexual assault and unlawful exploitation of a minor.

According to court documents, investigators said Montgomery’s wife found pictures of her husband touching a girl on their couch. The photos were dated two years ago when the girl was 16. Alaska State Troopers interviewed the victim who said Montgomery touched her for several minutes and she “acted like she was sleeping and began to wake up and move her hands around so he would stop.”

The victim did not know James Montgomery had taken any pictures.

Troopers said Montgomery’s wife found photos in his email after she told him she was filing for divorce.

During an interview with troopers, Montgomery waived his Miranda rights. Troopers said he was “cooperative and apologetic for his actions.” Montgomery told investigators he emailed himself the photos so he could get them off his phone. He thought the pictures had been deleted.

Troopers said Montgomery told them his wife was “being vindictive and trying to ruin his life since they were getting a divorce.”

He told troopers he didn't know why he did it and that he was "just in a bad spot back then,” according to court documents.

At Montgomery’s first appearance in court Wednesday, the victim and his wife asked the judge to give him a low bail because he supports the family.

“He’s been a good person other than obviously this incident,” his wife told the judge. “He owns a business and runs it and there’s 20 people that depend on him running that business to feed their families.”

Palmer Assistant District Attorney Melissa Wininger-Howard asked the judge for a higher bail given the nature of the alleged crimes.

“I appreciate the input that the family wants him out on bail but at the same time that makes me concerned as far as obeying conditions of release they’re not going to be reporting to anybody if he was to violate his conditions of release by having contact with kids under 18,” she said.

Judge Craig Condie set Montgomery’s bail at $5,000 cash corporate appearance and a $2,500 cash performance bond, plus Pretrial Enforcement Division electronic monitoring supervision. Montgomery is also ordered not to be alone with anyone under the age of 18.

He’s scheduled to be in court again on June 10 for a pre-indictment hearing.

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