Man charged with felony for illicit communication

POULSBO — A Poulsbo man has been charged with a felony after he allegedly engaged a 12-year-old girl with illicit communications over Facebook.

Philip Gander Jones, 52, of Poulsbo faces a felony charge of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes in Kitsap County District Court.

Jones allegedly communicated with a 12-year-old girl via Facebook messages between Aug. 23-26. The messages contained sexual and inappropriate subject matter, according to the police report on the case.

The girl is known to him, according to police reports.

Poulsbo police were alerted to the incident on Aug. 28 after Jones’ girlfriend discovered the Facebook messages. Police reviewed the communications — that included emoticons, or smiley faces — that allegedly show Jones prompting conversations about “sexy” aspects of the young girl’s body, kissing, and sexuality.

Poulsbo police obtained a search warrant for Jones’ home. The warrant was served and Jones was arrested on Sept. 11 and booked into Kitsap County Jail.

Jones was cooperative with officers, according to the police report, and reportedly admitted that he wrote the Facebook messages to the young girl and that he knew it was wrong and against the law. He said that he believed the two had a special relationship, but he did not view it as sexual. Rather, Jones said he was interested in learning about young girls’ experiences.

Jones further said that he offered to pay for counseling for the girl, according to the police report. He told officers that he also was getting counseling for himself to find out why he did what he did, and hypothesized that he was getting too close to his girlfriend, and therefore, he wanted to “destroy [the relationship] for some reason.”

Bail was set at $50,000. Jones was not listed on the Kitsap County Jail’s roster of inmates Wednesday.

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