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HomeNewsArchivesGrand Jury Charges Man with Rape, Child Pornography

Grand Jury Charges Man with Rape, Child Pornography

A St. Thomas grand jury handed down child three child pornography and three rape charges against Tony Jefferson Browne, 30, of St. Thomas.

Browne, a self-employed plumber, was arrested in June, and the U.S. Department of Justice filed an information, laying out the accusations against Browne, beginning the prosecutorial process.

The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires a grand jury indictment before a federal trial for any felony offense. This grand jury indictment, handed down Thursday, supersedes the original complaint.

According to documents filed in U.S. District Court, Browne contacted the three girls on Facebook, developed a friendship with them, and then persuaded them to send him nude photos of themselves. After receiving the photos, Browne allegedly threatened to place the minors’ nude photos on the Internet if they did not have sex with him. And he allegedly pulled a knife on one young rape victim.

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The grand jury charged Browne with one count of aggravated first degree rape of a minor under the age of 16, under V.I. law. According to the indictment, Browne is accused of "using a deadly weapon, that is, a knife, during the commission of an act of rape."

It also charged him with three federal counts of producing child pornography, with minor females age 12, 15 and 17, And with three federal counts of coercion and enticement of a minor.

During an initial court appearance, U.S. Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller ordered Brown held without bail.

If convicted, Browne faces a minimum penalty of 15 years in prison on the rape charge alone, and a maximum of life without parole.

The court has scheduled Browne to be arraigned on the grand jury charges 9:30 a.m. Sept. 18. on St. Thomas.

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