Seattle Archdiocese Worker Gets 30 Months in Prison for Child Porn, Facing Molestation Charges in California

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Seattle, WA – A 61-year-old Issaquah, Washington, man was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 30 months in prison for possession of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran.  PHILIP B. GILBERT, who was employed in the IT department of the Archdiocese of Seattle, was arrested on state charges in May 2019.  He was charged federally in October 2019 and pleaded guilty in June 2020.  At the sentencing hearing, Chief U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez noted that GILBERT will be transferred to custody in California where he is charged with sexual assault and faces up to life in prison if convicted.

According to documents in the case, in January 2019 an electronic service provider reported GILBERT’s account to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) for uploading images of child rape and molestation.  After obtaining a court-authorized search warrant, law enforcement served the warrant at GILBERT’s residence and seized electronic devices.  The devices contained 256 images of child pornography.

Following GILBERT’s arrest, a victim came forward to law enforcement and reported GILBERT molested her.  Contra Costa County, California, has charged the defendant with multiple sexual abuse crimes against a minor for which he faces life in prison.  Following his federal sentence, he will be transferred to California to resolve those charges.  On the federal case, Chief Judge Martinez imposed ten years of supervised release to follow prison and $12,000 in restitution to the victims depicted in the various child pornography series that GILBERT possessed.

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 King County Sheriff’s Office in subsequent collaboration with Homeland Security Investigations.

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The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Cecelia Gregson.

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