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Press Release

58-year-old St. Thomas Man and Victim’s Mother Sentenced for Transportation of a Minor for Sex

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Virgin Islands

St. Thomas, USVI - District Court Judge Curtis V. Gomez today sentenced Jenifer Bowen-Dodoo, 51, and Lennox Phillips, 58, to 120 and 130 months in prison, respectively, for transporting Bowen-Dodoo’s minor daughter for sex, United States Attorney Ronald W. Sharpe announced. Judge Gomez also sentenced Bowen-Dodoo to 10 years of supervised release and 400 hours of community service, and ordered her to pay a special assessment of $100. Judge Gomez then ordered Phillips to serve 10 years of supervised release and 500 hours of community service, and pay a fine of $15,000 and a special assessment of $100.

Phillips and Bowen-Dodoo, both of St. Thomas, pleaded guilty to transporting a minor for sex. According to court records, Phillips transported Bowen-Dodoo’s 13-year-old daughter in his taxi van for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity. Bowen-Dodoo allowed her daughter to have sex with Phillips, and Phillips paid Dodoo so he could continue to have sex with the victim. Phillips’ and Bowen-Dodoo’s criminal conduct was discovered when an employee at the victim’s school observed Phillips driving the victim away from the school when she should have been attending school.

Suspected child exploitation or missing children cases may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children via its toll-free 24–hour hotline at 202-514-5678, or to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations at (340) 693-2250.

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, the Virgin Islands Police Department, and the Virgin Islands Department of Human Services. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Everard E. Potter.

Updated August 12, 2016

Human Trafficking