Tompkins County Man Pleads Guilty to Sexual Exploitation of a Child

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Remanu Phillips, age 31, of Ithaca New York, pled guilty today before Chief United States District Judge Glenn T. Suddaby to two counts of sexual exploitation of a child, announced United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman, Janeen DiGuiseppi, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and New York State Police (NYSP) Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen.

Phillips, who remains detained pending his sentencing scheduled for November 9, 2022, faces at least 15 years and up to 60 years imprisonment on the charges, and a fine of up to $250,000.  The Court must also impose a term of supervised release of between 5 years and life, and Phillips will be required to register as a sex offender as a result of this conviction. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, and other factors.

As part of his guilty plea, Phillips admitted that on two separate days in June of 2019 he produced sexually explicit videos of himself sexually abusing a child.  Phillips further admitted that he later transferred the two videos from his cellular telephone to a desktop computer, where they were later recovered by law enforcement.

Phillips’ case was investigated by the FBI Syracuse Mid-State Child Exploitation Task Force, comprised of FBI Special Agents and Investigators of the New York State Police, Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), with assistance from the Tompkins County Sheriff’s office.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Geoffrey J. L. Brown as a part of Project Safe Childhood.

Launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, Project Safe Childhood is led by United States Attorney’s’ offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), and is designed to marshal 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 https://www.justice.gov/psc.