PRINCETON, WV (WVNS) — A 43-year-old Princeton man was sentenced to prison for enticement of a minor.

Eric Shawn Phillips, 43, of Princeton, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for enticement of a minor on Monday, November 13, 2023. Along with the 30 years in prison, Phillips will be under supervised parole for a lifetime and will be ordered to pay $7,200 in restitution. Phillips must also register as a sex offender.

According to court documents, around April 19, 2021 to February 17, 2022, Phillips persuaded, induced, enticed and coerced a minor to engage in sexual behavior with him. Phillips admitted to conducting his criminal activity via sending explicit messages to the minor via text messaging and social media apps.

“The sentence imposed today case reflects the horrific circumstances of this case and the truly despicable acts of this defendant. I commend the investigative work of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department and the excellent coordination with the Mercer County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.”

United States Attorney Will Thompson

This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative of the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.