Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Virginia Hernandez Covington has sentenced Thomas Hill (41, Hillsborough County) to 19 years in federal prison for enticement of minor and production of child pornography. Hill had pleaded guilty on January 7, 2020.
According to court documents, starting in November 2018, Hill began communicating online with a 17-year-old girl in Georgia. At Hill’s direction, the girl produced pornographic images of herself and transmitted them to Hill in Tampa via Skype messenger. In online chats, Hill also instructed the victim to use various objects to penetrate herself, to refer to herself as his slave, and to address him as “master.” Hill and the victim made plans for Hill to take the victim from her home in Georgia so she could live with him and told the victim that he would physically and sexually abuse her and their future offspring.
In early December 2018, Hill drove to Georgia, picked up the victim without her parents’ knowledge or consent, and brought her back to Tampa to live with him. Once in Tampa, Hill forced the victim to engage in non-consensual sex acts. Hill also made the victim perform unpaid menial labor at his house and restricted her ability to leave the residence or communicate with outsiders. After living with Hill for several weeks, the victim fled Hill’s home and was discovered by local law enforcement running down the street, crying for help.
“The facts of this case are beyond disturbing. Mr. Hill forced his young victim to commit horrific and unspeakable acts,” said Michael F. McPherson, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Tampa Division. “These investigations are tough to work and I am proud of the dedicated special agents who do the job to protect our children from sexual predators.”
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Candace Garcia Rich.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. 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 locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.