St. Thomas man charged with rape, coercion of young girls pleads not guilty
Published: October 24, 2013
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ST. THOMAS - Tony Jefferson Browne pleaded not guilty in District Court on Wednesday to charges that he used social media to seduce and rape girls between the ages of 12 and 17.
Browne, of Estate Lovelund, originally was arrested July 25 and charged with using the Internet to coerce and entice three girls to engage in sexual activity.
Since his arrest, prosecutors have specified that Browne used a knife in the commission of aggravated second-degree rape. He also has been charged through subsequent indictments with first-degree rape of an underage girl.
Additionally, Browne faces four counts of production of child pornography, three counts of coercion and enticement and three counts of possession of child pornography.
According to an affidavit, Browne contacted three girls on Facebook and asked them to send him nude photos of the themselves.
Browne offered to pay at least one girl to send lewd photos of herself, but he also used the photos the girls sent to him to try to blackmail them into having sex with him, according to the affidavit.
In July 2012, Browne enticed a 17-year-old girl into sending him pictures of herself in her underwear, according to the affidavit. He then paid the girl $60 for three photos and asked her via text messages for a fully nude photo, including her face, prosecutors said.
She complied after Browne offered her $400 for the nude photo with her face, according to the affidavit.
Browne then told her he would post the photo to a website if she would not have sex with him, prosecutors said. She refused, and Browne carried out the threat, according to the affidavit.
In January, Browne contacted a 13-year-old girl through Facebook and sent her pictures of his penis, prosecutors said. The girl sent him nude photos of herself and later disclosed that she was only 13, according to the affidavit.
Browne responded that he "loved" that she was an underage girl and began to pressure her into having sex with him through text messages, instructing her to meet him behind the Medical Arts Building on St. Thomas after school and telling her to remove her underwear beforehand, according to the affidavit.
Browne also blackmailed a 15-year-old girl into meeting him near her home, prosecutors said. In February, after the girl had sent him nude photos of herself, he threatened to post them to a website if she did not have sex with him, the affidavit states.
She later met him at a basketball court near her home, and when she tried to leave, Browne pulled a knife on her and forced her to perform oral sex on him, according to the affidavit.
Both of the rape charges stem from an incident on March 4 when Browne used a knife to "perpetrate an act of sodomy with a person who is under 18 years but 13 years or older," according to an indictment filed Oct. 3.
Browne's trial date is set for Nov. 4.
- Contact Amanda Norris at 714-9104 or email email@example.com.