A New Jersey state trooper is in hot water for pulling women over solely to ask them on dates.
Marquice Prather, who has been suspended without pay since his last arrest in December, pleaded guilty to invasion of privacy, tampering with physical evidence and falsifying or tampering with records.
Authorities say Prather pulled over female numerous female drivers, between the ages of 18 and 42, without probable cause. He would take their cell phones and go through personal information and photos, occasionally taking intimate photos and videos for himself. He would then solicit the women to either go on a date with him or give him their phone numbers.
Prather allegedly would turn off his microphone during the stops, claiming it had malfunctioned. He would also falsely report the gender of the drivers to disguise the fact that he stopped a high number of women.
The state police began looking into Prather after several women complained about his conduct.
Prather’s lawyer Melvin Wright claimed that Prather had pulled the women over for legitimate traffic violations, and only went through their cell phones because the women had stored their insurance information on them. He did, however, admit that in some cases the women had intimate photos on their phones, which Prather stole and forwarded to a friend.
Wright added that his client “has matured exponentially from this experience,” and regrets his behavior.
As part of his plea agreement, Prather has been permanently banned from holding or being employed by the public office. The state will recommend that he receive probation rather than jail time.
This isn’t the first time a New Jersey state trooper has been accused of targeting women.
In May, state trooper Eric Richardson was charged with falsifying records to cover improper stops of female drivers.
Authorities alleged that Richardson pressured two women to “begin a personal relationship” with him after he pulled them over. He also allegedly threatened to arrest one woman if she did not share her phone number with him.