Kentucky Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Production of Child Pornography

LEXINGTON, KY — A Georgetown, Ky., man, Phillip Christopher Abel, 36, was sentenced on Thursday, to 324 months in federal prison, by U.S. District Judge Karen Caldwell, after previously pleading guilty to enticing a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of that conduct.

According to his Abel’s plea agreement, law enforcement received information that he was using Freenet, a peer-to-peer file sharing network to request files associated with the sexual exploitation of children.  Additionally, law enforcement found at least 30 deleted photos of a pre-pubescent female in various sexual poses that were taken at Abel’s property.  Abel admitted that he knowingly used the victim to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing visual depictions of the sexually explicit conduct.

Abel pleaded guilty in September 2021.

Under federal law, Abel must serve 85 percent of his prison sentence.  Upon his release from prison, he will be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for life.  In addition to his prison time, Abel is required to pay $15,000 in restitution.        

Carlton S. Shier, IV, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky; Jerry Templet, Special Agent in Charge, Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Daniel Cameron, Attorney General of Kentucky; and Michael D. Bosse, Chief of Police, Georgetown Police Department, announced the sentence.

The investigation was conducted by HSI, Kentucky Attorney General’s Office, and Georgetown Police Department. The United States was represented in the case by Assistant U.S. Attorney Erin Roth.

This case was prosecuted 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 U.S. 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.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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