General Crime

* Thomas Jewell youth counselor and therapist of Pleasant Hill sentenced to 29 years for producing child pornography

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A former Contra Costa County youth counselor and therapist has been sentenced to 29 years in federal prison for producing child pornography. At a hearing on Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Phyllis Hamilton also ordered 54-year-old Thomas Jewell, of Pleasant Hill, to pay $234,000 in restitution to his victims and ordered him to be supervised for the rest of his life if he is ever released from prison.

Jewell had been employed by Contra Costa County as a youth mental health counselor intern and worked at the Juvenile Hall in Martinez. He also had a private practice in which he worked as a youth counselor. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, when Jewell pleaded guilty in federal court on Nov. 23, he admitted that he sexually molested two minor boys and produced child pornography.

He also pleaded guilty to 11 felony sex crime counts in Contra Costa County Superior Court on Nov. 30 for molesting three boys, including two of whom were under his supervision. He is scheduled to be sentenced on those charges later this month. Prosecutors said Jewell is expected to get a 29-year sentence on the Contra Costa County charges to be served concurrently with his federal sentence.

He will serve his time in a federal facility, prosecutors said. Jewell’s sex crimes began in 2005 and occurred across Contra Costa County, prosecutors said. Martinez police began investigating Jewell after tracing downloaded child pornography files to his home computer. Prosecutors said that when investigators seized Jewell’s computer, they found thousands of child pornography images, including some that he allegedly created, and were able to identify victims who included a boy who was only 6 years old when the molestation began.

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