US authorities in US Virgin Islands charge plumber with coercing 3 girls into sexual activity

A plumber in the U.S. Virgin Islands is being accused of using the Internet to coerce three female minors to engage in sexual activity.

U.S. Attorney Ronald W. Sharpe says Tony Browne of St. Thomas has been ordered held without bail pending a Wednesday hearing. He was arrested and charged Tuesday.

Documents filed in U.S. District Court allege Browne made contact with the girls on Facebook and persuaded them to send nude photos of themselves. Prosecutors say the 30-year-old man then allegedly threatened to publicize the photos if they did not have sex with him.

It isn't known if Browne has a lawyer. If convicted, he faces a minimum penalty of 15 years in prison.