News and Press Releases

Youth Counselor Sentenced To 29 Years In Prison For Producing Child Pornography

March 1, 2012

OAKLAND – Thomas Perez Jewell was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Oakland, California, to 29 years in prison and was ordered to pay $234,000 in restitution for producing child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag, Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, and Special Agent in Charge Stephanie Douglas of the FBI’s San Francisco Field Office.

According to court documents, Jewell first came to the attention of law enforcement authorities when he was suspected of distributing and possessing child pornography. A search of Jewell’s Pleasant Hill apartment pursuant to a search warrant revealed evidence that Jewell had sexually molested two minor victims and photographed and videotaped his abuse. A hard drive hidden under the mattress in Jewell’s bedroom contained thousands of images of the minor victims. Prior to his arrest and conviction, Jewell was employed as a youth counselor and therapist in Contra Costa County.

Jewell, 54, was indicted by a federal grand jury on December 9, 2010. He was charged with production of child pornography, transportation of child pornography, and possession of child pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2251(a) and (e); 2252A(a)(1) and (b)(1); and 2252A(a)(5)(B) and (b)(2). He pleaded guilty to one count of production of child pornography on November 23, 2011.

Jewell was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton. Judge Hamilton also sentenced the defendant to a lifetime of supervised release. Jewell has been in custody since his arrest on November 18, 2010.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua Hill and Trial Attorney Mi Yung Park of the Department of Justice Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section with the assistance of Vanessa Vargas. This case was investigated by the FBI, the Pleasant Hill Police Department, the Martinez Police Department and the Walnut Creek Police Department.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit



Return to Top

USAO Homepage
USAO Briefing Room
Stay Connected with Twitter
Justice 101
Northern California Most Wanted
Investor Fraud Summit

Investor Fraud Summit
October 9, 2012

Bay Area Stop Bullying Summit

September 14, 2012

Victim Witness Assistance

Making sure that victims of federal crimes are treated with compassion, fairness and respect.

Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force

Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force

Community Outreach

Giving Back to the Community through a variety of venues & initiatives.

Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee

Training and seminars for Federal, State, and Local Law Enforcement Agencies.