A female New York State Trooper is facing charges of coercion after allegedly pretending to be a man while having an online relationship with a Nassau County woman and threatened to post naked photos of the woman.
Jennifer Daignault, 31, of Rome in upstate New York, was arraigned on Tuesday, Aug. 20, before Judge Meryl Berkowitz and charged with coercion in the first degree and two counts of coercion in the second degree.
According to District Attorney Madeline Singas, Daignault allegedly ‘catfished’ an unsuspecting Nassau County woman and threatened to post her naked photos online unless the victim acquired a fake New York State identification card.
“This case highlights the need to be cautious when using online dating platforms and to limit the amount of personal information you share before meeting in person or speaking on the phone," said Singas.
From May 1, 2018, to July 31, 2018, Daignault, who had multiple online identities pretending to be a man, allegedly began a text message-only relationship with the 33- year-old female victim. They met on the dating site PlentyofFish, the DA's Office said.
Daignault received numerous naked photographs from the victim, who believed that she was communicating with a man. Daignault then allegedly used the photos to coerce the victim to go to Queens and Manhattan and attempt to purchase a fake New York State identification.
The trooper, who works out of Troop D, but is currently suspended with pay, also allegedly threatened the victim that if she did not comply with her demands that she would post the victim’s naked photographs online, the DA's Office said.
Following a month-long investigation, Daignault was arrested on Sept. 13, 2018.
A judge released Daignault on her own recognizance. She is due back in court on Monday, Sept. 23. If convicted of the top count, she faces up to seven years in prison.
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