Ex-soldier sentenced to probation for ‘catfishing’

MINEOLA VILLAGE — A former Rome state trooper was sentenced to probation on Long Island on Monday for “catfishing” another woman and blackmailing her with nude photographs, according to the office of the Nassau County District Attorney.

The soldier, Jennifer Daignault, 34, was facing similar charges in Rome, but they were dropped early last year, according to the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office.

Daignault was sentenced Monday by Nassau County Chief Judge Teresa K. Corrigan to three years probation for misdemeanor third-degree coercion, court officials said. Daignault had pleaded guilty to the charge in November.

When she pleaded guilty, Daignault also resigned from the New York State Police, according to state police officials. Daignault graduated from the State Police Academy in 2016 and was assigned to Troop C in the southern part of the state.

Prosecutors say Daignault posed as a man on the internet and had a text-only relationship with a 33-year-old woman living in Nassau County between May 1 and July 31, 2018. Officials said Daignault met woman via online dating. website.

Impersonating someone different on the internet in order to deceive others is known as “catfishing”.

Authorities said the victim sent Daignault numerous nude photos of herself and that Daignault used those photos to blackmail the victim. Authorities said Daignault threatened to post the intimate photos on the Internet if the victim did not travel to New York to purchase fake IDs for Daignault.

Following an investigation, Daignault was taken into custody on September 13, 2018.

Meanwhile, Daignault had also been charged in the city of Rome with a similar incident. Rome police say Daignault created several different internet identities between November 2016 and May 2018 and harassed a Rome woman. Police said the woman also shared intimate material with Daignault, and they said Daignault threatened to post this material on the internet if the victim stopped communicating with Daignault.

In a statement the victim gave to police, the victim said that she and Daignault both graduated from Rome Free Academy in 2005. The victim told police that she started chatting about Internet with a person claiming to be a man named “Michael” in 2003, and this relationship grew more abusive over the years. The victim said this ‘Michael’ stalked her for 15 years, calling it a ‘nightmare’.

Daignault was indicted in the Rome case in December 2018. According to the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office, Daignault’s Rome case was dismissed by Rome City Court Judge John C. Gannon in January 2021 The case has since been sealed.

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