POLSON — A Polson police officer is charged with sexual abuse of children after a flash drive containing naked pictures of an underage girl was found in a Polson home where he formally lived.
Officer Matthew Timm was arrested by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday, September 13, 2023.
In court documents obtained from the Montana Attorney General's office, prosecutors say two people were painting inside the home in early September when a flash drive was found on top of upper cabinets in the kitchen. One of the painters checked the flash drive and discovered several videos of an underage girl who was either partially clothed or naked.
The victim, who was 17 at the time, told investigators that "this type of behavior had been going on for years. Jane Doe indicated that Timm had started touching her in a sexual manner when she was 12 or 13 years old and continued into her high school years," according to court documents.
Timm had been living in the home between 2017 and 2013. Court documents do not specify the relationship between Timm, the woman's house where he was staying and the victim.
Jane Doe said Timm would only touch her when they were alone. She also said that she was not sure of how long the videotaping had been taking place. Court documents further state that one time she was getting ready to take a shower and saw a tablet on the counter and realized she was being recorded.
Jane Doe confronted Timm about how his sexual touching made her uncomfortable and "the Defendant indicated that is how he shows his love and affection towards her," court documents state. The victim told investigators the last time she caught Timm filming her was in 2018 or 2019, saying when she was getting ready in the bathroom she found a camera.
Timm realized Jane Doe had found the camera and they had a fight about the camera. According to prosecutors, Jane Doe indicated that she told Timm that "she was disappointed because they had already had a conversation about how 'this needed to end'."
Jane Doe said she told Timm that if he didn't stop she didn't want to have any contact with Timm. Jane Doe also told investigators that she had been trying to work through it with Timm and had hoped everything had been deleted.
The victim states that Timm would come out of the shower at the home naked and wanted her to see him. Timm is also accused of making sexual remarks to her and comments about her body.
The woman identified as A.C. told authorities they confronted Timm about the recordings. A.C. is said to have kicked Timm out of the house for four to five days while she and Jane Doe worked through what happened. The defendant came back after that incident but moved out of the home in March of 2023.
A Montana Division of Criminal Investigation agent looked at the flash drive and found over 700 images of Jane Doe "in either a state of partial undress or fully nude saved within a folder titled special pics'," court documents state. Adult pornography was also found on the flash drive.
Timm is currently being held in the Flathead County Detention Center in Kalispell.
Polson Police Chief George Simpson released the following statement to MTN News on Monday.
Right now, the community is rightfully questioning the character and competence of our department. We will restore community trust. Community trust is the bridge between us and the people we serve. We will listen actively. We will talk straight and act fairly.
Trustworthiness embodies four ethical obligations essential to personal credibility and public trust: integrity, honesty, promise – keeping and loyalty. The PPD has achieved its reputation as an outstanding department because community trust has been earned. We will safeguard that trust. We will keep our promises. That means taking action when issues arise. Our community expects and deserves the best officers in the state and that is what they will get. No one person is bigger than our department. Our mission remains the same – to make Polson a better place, to live, work, learn, and play.