Cambridge man pleads guilty to soliciting ‘13-year-old’ deputy

PRINCESS ANNE — A Dorchester County man charged with the sexual solicitation of a minor was sentenced to seven years in prison with all but 189 days of time served suspended.

Joshua R. Phillips, 27, was arrested on April 17 when he came to Princess Anne to meet a girl he thought was 13-years-old. It turned out that Phillips had been conversing in a sexual manner not to a girl named “Jen” but Somerset County Sheriff’s Office Detective Justin Fontaine, who recognized Phillips from photos he had sent when he arrived at the Food Lion parking lot to meet the girl.

Phillips was charged with sexual solicitation of a minor, distributing obscene material, and because of the COVID-19 pandemic violating Gov. Hogan’s State of Emergency stay-at-home order — the last two charges dropped by Somerset County Deputy State’s Attorney Kendra Hayward in exchange for Phillips’ guilty plea.

Circuit Court Judge Daniel W. Powell required Phillips to register as a Tier II sex offender, and placed him on three years of supervised probation. He is to complete mental health treatment, have no unsupervised contact with minor children other than biological children, and pay $185 in court costs.

Phillips, of Cambridge, was represented by public defender Arch McFadden during his Oct. 22 court appearance. He has already filed a motion with the judge to consider modifying the sentence at a later date.