Seattle – A 61-year-old Issaquah, Washington, man pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 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. GILBERT faces up to 20 years in prison when sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez on September 25, 2020.
According to the plea agreement, 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.
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.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Cecelia Gregson.