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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Washington

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 3, 2020

Former Tacoma resident pleads guilty to production of images of child rape and abuse

Faces Pierce County charges for molesting young child

(Tacoma) - A former Tacoma resident, who was residing in South Bend, Indiana, at the time of his arrest, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to production of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran.  SAMUEL PHILLIPS, 27, faces a mandatory minimum 15 years in prison and up to 30 years in prison when sentenced by U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle on December 7, 2020.

According to the plea agreement, in March 2018, PHILLIPS was residing in a Tacoma apartment with a child under the age of 5, when he made video recordings of the sexual abuse.  PHILLIPS relocated to Indiana in early 2019.  His spouse discovered the videos on his phone.  PHILLIPS was arrested by South Bend Police, who alerted the Tacoma Police Department.  PHILLIPS was charged federally with production of child pornography on April 30, 2019.  He is charged in state court with sexual abuse of the child.

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 (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.

The case was investigated by the Tacoma Police Department and FBI, with assistance from the South Bend, Indiana, Police Department.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Angelica Williams.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Contact: 
Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Communications Director Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@usdoj.gov.
Updated September 3, 2020