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Seattle man pleads guilty to enticing Mass. girl, 14, online; authorities rescued teen on bus

A Seattle, Wash., man with a prior manslaughter conviction pleaded guilty Wednesday to enticing a 14-year-old Massachusetts girl he met online, in a case in which he asked her to send explicit videos and photos before he traveled to Boston, where the two boarded a bus that authorities intercepted in Minnesota, according to prosecutors and legal filings.

In a statement, US Attorney Rachael S. Rollins’s office said Jabarie Phillips, 44, pleaded guilty in US District Court in Boston to one count of coercion and enticement of a minor. Sentencing is slated for Sept. 8.

Phillips’s public defender didn’t immediately return an email seeking comment Thursday afternoon.


Rollins’s office said Phillips and the Massachusetts teen began communicating via Facebook in April 2019. Phillips, prosecutors said, knew the girl’s age but still asked her to send him explicit videos and photos of herself.

Things escalated when the girl at one point told Phillips she was having family issues, and he responded, “If you run away let me know we can take this show on the road I need a partner in crime,” the statement said.

Phillips flew to Boston on April 29, 2019, and the girl met him at Logan International Airport, according to the statement. They traveled to South Station where they boarded a bus bound for Seattle, but investigators intercepted the bus days later in Minneapolis, where they arrested Phillips and recovered the girl, per the statement.

“Phillips was arrested on two warrants – one out of Washington for violating probation following his release from prison for a 2008 conviction for manslaughter and one out of Massachusetts for kidnapping,” the statement said.

Rollins’s office said the charge of coercion and enticement of a minor carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years behind bars, with a maximum penalty of life in prison. A plea deal filed in Phillips’s case said the parties have agreed to recommend a 12-year prison sentence followed by five years of supervised release.


Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.