UPDATE: Sex offender hired at Roosevelt Medical Center has been terminated

Update: RMC announced on their Facebook page Wednesday that the Board of Directors has chosen to terminate Denise Carlson's employment with the medical center.


Denise Carlson, 56, is a resident of Plentywood, Montana. She is also a registered sex offender and a registered nurse. 

Since her hiring at Roosevelt Medical Center, many have wondered if Carlson should be allowed a second chance to work within the medical community. 

Carlson was issued a medical license nearly two years ago on October 11, 2016. The restrictions on the license include monitoring for one year by the Nurses Assistance Program. This particular license is valid until December 31 of this year. 

Her license and hiring at Roosevelt Medical Center has received resistance in Plentywood and across Montana. 

The Roosevelt Medical Center Facebook page shows how active RMC is in the community. It's also where RMC chose to announce the hiring of Denise Carlson on September 27.

That post specifically mentioned they were aware of Carlson's guilty plea in Federal Court to possessing child pornography in 2009. 

The now deleted post stated that "Carlson was highly recommended and qualified, and had formerly worked at RMC and had an impeccable employment record."

The post went on to say: "We would like to disclose that we are fully aware of her prior receipt-of-child-pornography conviction and the facts surrounding it and continue to have no concerns about diminished safety or quality or care for our patients and residents. The board supports the Montana Nursing Board's decision to reinstate her nursing license with the addition of a corrective assistance plan."

Reaction to the announcement has been met with serious concern. 

In one message a man who said he has 30 years in the medical field wrote: "Allowing a convicted child pornographer work in a hospital where she will be close to children is unacceptable. Have her work at a prison. That's as close to children she should get EVER! She got her license back? WRONG!" 

Another adds: "How, if anyone, in their right mind would hire someone convicted of this?! Those children and their safety should come first. She does not belong anywhere near children, period."

But what exactly did Carlson do?

In June of 2009, Carlson entered a guilty plea in Federal Court to charges of downloading and possessing child pornography. 

Judge Brian Morris sentenced Carlson to 98 months in prison where she was to participate in a residential sex offender treatment program.  Carlson was also placed on supervised release for life and ordered to register as a sex offender. 

In addition to living restrictions, Carlson was ordered not to have access to electronic devices that provide access to the internet without permission of United States Probation. 

During her sentencing, Carlson explained to the court that she herself was a victim of sexual assault during her childhood. 

Carlson also accepted responsibility for her behavior and admitted she had problems she didn't recognize due to depression and denial. 

Psychiatrist and expert witness Dr. William David Stratford also testified before the court. 

Stratford stated in his medical opinion Carlson was very moralistic and had a historically strong work ethic which were factors he used to determine that Carlson was low-risk to re-offend. 

Roosevelt Medical Center will hold a special executive session Tuesday night at 5:30. 

In a separate post, RMC thanked the community for their interest, comments, and concerns pertaining to the recent hiring of Denise Carlson. 

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