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Ghanaian Woman Gets 10 Years In Prison For Pimping Out Her Underage Daughter


CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A 51-year-old native of Ghana who pimped out her underage daughter in a sex-for-money scheme was given 10 years in prison by a federal judge on Thursday.

U.S. District Court Judge Curtis Gomez 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, U.S. Attorney Ronald Sharpe said.

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, Sharpe said.

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.

The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, the Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD), and the Virgin Islands Department of Human Services.

It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Everard E. 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everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling.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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