Crime - Sacto 911

Sacramento man draws 30-year prison sentence for child exploitation

A Sacramento man accused of pursuing sexual encounters with teenage boys has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Phillip J. Colwell, 54, was sentenced Thursday by U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley for producing child pornography, transmitting obscene matter to a minor and using a cellphone to entice a minor to engage in unlawful sexual conduct, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

Colwell pleaded guilty in April 2012. According to the guilty plea, Colwell engaged in a series of cellphone text conversations with a 14-year-old Sacramento boy, sending the youth sexually explicit images and seeking to engage him in sexual conduct. Authorities said Colwell encouraged the youth to produce sexually explicit images of himself to send to Colwell.

In July 2011, Colwell engaged in sex acts with a 16-year-old Sacramento boy and took sexually explicit photos of him. Colwell then uploaded the photos to a website to promote the commercial sex trafficking of the boy.

The case resulted from an investigation by the FBI’s Sacramento-based Innocence Lost Task Force, the Sacramento Police Department and the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office.