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Ghanaian Native Faces Life Sentence For Pimping Her Own Daughter Out For Sex With Older Man (UPDATED!)


CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A 51-year-old Ghanaian native pleaded guilty in federal court on St. Thomas Friday to transporting her underage daughter for sex with an older man for money, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Jennifer Bowen-Dodoo admitted to U.S. District Court Judge Curtis Gomez that she was guilty of one count of transportation of a minor for sex, U.S. Attorney Ronald Sharpe said Monday.

According to the plea agreement, Bowen-Dodoo told Judge Gomez that she arranged for  a man to pick up her daughter for sex in return for money, Sharpe said.

Judge Gomez remanded Bowen-Dodoo into the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Sentencing is scheduled for August 4, 2016. Bowen-Dodoo faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison. She also faces a fine of up to $250,000.

“Sex trafficking is a deplorable crime, especially when it involves underage victims who are particularly vulnerable,” said Ricardo Mayoral, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) San Juan and U.S. Virgin Islands. “Prostituting young girls is a growing threat worldwide, and we encourage anyone with information about this activity to call law enforcement. Your call could save a girl from sexual slavery.”

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 Homeland Security Investigations at (340) 693-2250.

Meanwhile, a person claiming to be related to Jennifer Bowen-Dodoo contacted the V.I. Free Press on April 28 and wrote this:

“I find it very upsetting that you are circulating this sick and FAKE story and using images of I and my sister and our surname!” — Larisa Bowen-Dodoo

The case was investigated by HSI, the Virgin Islands Police Department, and the Virgin Islands Department of Human Services. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Everard Potter.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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