St. Thomas man indicted with new charges just before trial for rape, child porn begins


Font size: [A] [A] [A]

ST. THOMAS - A man who was supposed to stand trial on rape and child pornography charges this week instead is facing new charges of the same nature.

Tony Jefferson Browne, who was scheduled to begin a jury trial in District Court on Monday, instead pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to receipt of child pornography and extortion using interstate communications.

The charges are in addition to those that he already faced, which include production of child pornography; coercion and enticement; possession of child pornography; transfer of obscene material to minors; aggravated first-degree rape; and aggravated second-degree rape.

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 Browne's arrest, prosecutors have specified that he 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.

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 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 that included her face, prosecutors said.

She complied after Browne offered her $400 for the photo, 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 through text messages into having sex with him, 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 one of the indictments.

- Contact Jenny Kane at 714-9102 or email jkane@dailynews.vi.

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
St. Croix Daily Deals powered by ReferLocal
\

Best of the VI

Best of the VI: After more than 100,000 text and Facebook votes were cast, it is time to unveil the winners.

Daily News

Try our e-newspaper delivered to you every day

Island Trader

Good stuff, best buys, great fun

Crucian Trader

Celebrating St. Croix History, Culture and People

Island Action

Your complete guide to where to go and what to do this week in the Virgin Islands.