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Former Gilbert Fire Captain arrested for sexual conduct with a minor

Michael Palmatier
Posted at 4:17 PM, Apr 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-25 16:51:32-04

GILBERT, AZ — A former Gilbert Fire and Rescue Captain has been arrested for sexual conduct with a minor, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

MCSO says 48-year-old Michael Palmatier has been arrested and charged with sexual conduct with a minor, kidnapping and indecent exposure.

MCSO says Palmatier was off-duty when the incident occurred.

According to court paperwork, Palmatier was believed to be drinking and took Soma, a painkiller, the day of a neighborhood birthday party.

At the party, Palmatier was allegedly in a room with several children who were watching a movie. At one point, the victim, a girl approximately eight-years-old, tells police that she woke to Palmatier sexually assaulting her.

The young girl told police that she ran out of the room to a bathroom after Palmatier tried to grab her by the arm. She eventually disclosed what happened to a family member.

When questioned during a recorded conversation, Palmatier said he was intoxicated and thought he was in the bed with a different adult female.

Gilbert officials say Palmatier resigned Wednesday prior to his arrest.