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Press Release

Former Juvenile Justice Officer Sentenced to Fifty-Seven and a Half Years of Incarceration for Sexual Abuse of a Minor Conviction

November 8, 2019

(Anchorage, AK) – On November 8, 2019, Superior Court Judge Jack Smith sentenced Phillip Bigham to serve 57.5 years on multiple counts of Sexual Abuse of a Minor.

An Anchorage jury convicted Bigham on November 15, 2018, of seven counts of Sexual Abuse of a Minor in the First Degree. The jury also convicted Bigham of attempting to aid the victim in escaping from McLaughlin Youth Center in Anchorage so that she could live in his garage. Assistant District Attorney Betsy Bull, who handled the sentencing in the case, asked the court to impose a sentence of 57.5 years to serve in order to recognize that Bigham abused both the authority and trust placed in him as a juvenile justice officer when he engaged in a sexual relationship with a vulnerable inmate.

For this conduct as a first-time felon, Bigham faced a sentencing range of 20 to 30 years with a maximum sentence of 99 years. Bigham will be on probation for 15 years and will be required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life.

The Anchorage District Attorney’s Office thanks Anchorage Police Department Detective Jade Baker for the investigation that led to the convictions in this case and to the victim for the courage to come forward.

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CONTACT: Anchorage Assistant District Attorney Betsy Bull at (907) 269-6300 or bonnie.bull@alaska.gov .

More information about the Anchorage District Attorney’s Office is available at http://www.law.alaska.gov/department/criminal/adao.html.

Department Media Contact: Assistant Attorney General Maria Bahr at (907) 269-5285 or maria.bahr@alaska.gov.