US Virgin Islands politician pleads guilty in public corruption case

A former senator in the U.S. Virgin Islands has pleaded guilty to racketeering in a public corruption case.

Alvin Williams entered the plea to one of nine charges against him. He faces up to 20 years in prison at his April sentencing. Williams admitted attempting to bribe an official to steer business to a company owned by his father and to soliciting bribes from developers. The 34-year-old politician also admitted to demanding salary kickbacks from his legislative staff and to having staff members do his coursework for an online college degree.

Williams appeared downcast as he entered his plea Thursday in federal court in St. Thomas. Defense attorney Gordon Rhea said Williams accepts responsibility and is apologetic. His term in the territorial legislature expired Monday.