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New Charges Filed Against E. Bay Man Accused Of Child Porn, Molestation

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Thomas Jewell (Pleasant Hill Police Dept.)

Thomas Jewell (Pleasant Hill Police Dept.)

OAKLAND (BCN) – A Contra Costa County Juvenile Hall counselor was indicted by a federal grand jury in Oakland on Thursday on charges of producing, possessing and transporting child pornography, according to court records.

Thomas Jewell, a 53-year-old Pleasant Hill resident, is also facing 49 felony charges in Contra Costa County.

Those charges include 46 counts of child molestation and one count each of showing pornographic material to a child, posing a child for the purposes of pornography and possession of child pornography, Contra Costa County Deputy District Attorney Dana Filkowski said.

Jewell was arraigned on the molestation charges Monday in Contra Costa County Superior Court in Martinez, but did not enter a plea.

Filkowski said that the victim was a boy between 12 and 15 years old, but investigators believe there could be more victims who have not yet come forward.

According to U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Jack Gillund, the federal indictment does not supercede the charges in Contra Costa County.

According to Pleasant Hill police, the case began as an undercover investigation by Martinez police, who had identified Jewell as someone who had allegedly received and distributed child pornography.

On Nov. 18, police officers from Martinez, Pleasant Hill and Walnut Creek served a search warrant at Jewell’s home on Massolo Drive in Pleasant Hill and seized several digital storage devices, police said.

According to police, the devices contained more than 13,000 images and videos depicting child pornography and the FBI was called in to help with the investigation.

Walnut Creek police have conducted a forensic analysis of the images and are in the process of identifying potential victims.

According to police, Jewell was a counselor at juvenile hall and had worked closely with at-risk children throughout Contra Costa County and neighboring counties.

Pleasant Hill police have set up a tip line to gather more information about Jewell and are asking anyone who has been victimized by him or who accepted any gifts or money from him to call (925) 676-1273.

Investigators are also interested in talking to anyone who has traveled with Jewell, been invited to his home or witnessed any suspicious behavior.

Jewell remained in custody in county jail in Martinez Friday on $5.8 million bail, according to jail records.

He was scheduled to return to Contra Costa County Superior Court Jan. 6 to enter a plea.

An arraignment date in federal court has not yet been set, Gillund said.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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