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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Ohio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 20, 2017

Jury Convicts Registered Sex Offender of New Sex Crimes Against Children

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A United States District Court jury convicted Thomas A. Sweeney, 48, of Columbus of all counts, which include production of child pornography, attempted coercion/enticement of a minor, receipt of child pornography and commission of a sex offense while registered as a sex offender.

 

Vipal Patel, First Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Steve Francis, Acting Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Franklin County Sheriff Dallas Baldwin and other members of the Franklin County Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force announced the verdict reached today, which was returned following a trial that began on January 17 before U.S. District Judge Michael H. Watson.

 

According to court documents and testimony, Sweeney enticed a 14-year-old female to take sexually explicit pictures and send them to Sweeney’s phone. He also used his phone to attempt to coerce the minor victim into engaging in sexual activity.

 

Sweeney had been convicted in 2004 in Franklin County Common Pleas Court for two counts of rape involving a minor. He was sentenced to two consecutive terms of five years in prison for that conviction.

 

Sweeney was charged by a criminal complaint in this case on February 11, 2016 and was indicted by a federal grand jury on March 31, 2016 and in a superseding indictment on January 12, 2017.

 

Production of child pornography is punishable by a range of 25 to 50 years in this case. Coercion of a minor carries a potential life sentence and receipt of child pornography is punishable by a range of 15 to 40 years in prison in this case. Committing these crimes while registered as a sex offender includes a 10-year sentencing enhancement to be served consecutive to any other term of imprisonment.

 

This case was prosecuted by United States Attorney Benjamin C. Glassman and Assistant United States Attorney Heather A. Hill. It was investigated by Franklin County ICAC Task Force members.

 

The Franklin County ICAC Task Force is a multi-agency effort dedicated to the fight against computer facilitated crimes against children. The following agencies are members:

Franklin County Sheriff’s Office

Ohio ICAC

Grove City Police Department

Columbus Police Department

Grandview Heights Police Department

Westerville Police Department

Hilliard Police Department

Franklin County Prosecutor's Office

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)

Ohio Attorney General’s Office (BCI)

The Ohio State University Police Department

Upper Arlington Police Department

Circleville Police Department

Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office

Delaware County Sheriff’s Office

 

 

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated January 23, 2017