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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Former Tacoma resident sentenced to 15 years in prison for production of images of child molestation

Sexually abused a 5-year-old child

Tacoma - A former Tacoma resident, who was residing in South Bend, Indiana, at the time of his arrest, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to 15 years in federal prison for production of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran.  SAMUEL PHILLIPS, 27, must register as a sex offender upon release from prison and will be supervised by federal probation for 25 years.  At the sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle said, “This involves the abuse of those who are the most vulnerable – young children…. A young child has been given a life sentence of this trauma.”

PHILLIPS pleaded guilty in September 2020.  In March 2018, PHILLIPS was residing in a Tacoma apartment with a 5-year-old child, 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.  Charges in state court for sexual abuse of the child are pending.

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 was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Angelica Williams and Matt Hampton.

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 February 17, 2021