TRENTON – A New Jersey state trooper was sentenced today on charges that he tampered with evidence and falsified records to cover up the fact that he conducted improper stops of female drivers in order to view the private contents of their cell phones and proposition them to meet him socially.
Marquice Prather, 38, of Linden, N.J., was sentenced to three years of probation by Superior Court Judge Benjamin S. Bucca in Middlesex County. He was ordered to perform 50 hours of community service and pay a $5,000 fine. The judge also ordered that Prather have no contact with his victims. Prather pleaded guilty on Sept. 11 to charges of third-degree invasion of privacy, fourth-degree tampering with physical evidence, and fourth-degree falsifying or tampering with records. He forfeited his job as a state trooper and is permanently barred from public office and employment.
Deputy Attorneys General Brian Faulk, Jonathan Gilmore and Charles Wright prosecuted the case for the Division of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau.
The New Jersey State Police Office of Professional Standards investigated numerous incidents involving Prather that reflected a pattern of pulling over women, ranging in age from 18 to 42, and soliciting them to go on a date with him or give him their phone numbers. The investigation revealed the following conduct, for which he pleaded guilty to the three charges:
Several women initially came forward to file complaints against Prather about improper conduct. A number of other women subsequently gave statements outlining similar conduct after they were contacted by investigators who were auditing Prather’s patrol activities. Prather was suspended without pay by the State Police after his arrest on Dec. 9, 2016.
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