LINDEN-NJ Former New Jersey State Trooper was sentenced today on charges of tampering with evidence and falsifying 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, NJ., 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 $5,00 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 their phone numbers. Prather pleaded guilty to requesting and searching cell phones of numerous women in order to obtain personal information, videos and photos of women, disposing of suspected marijuana he seized from the vehicle of a female motorist, and falsely reporting gender of drivers he pulled over.
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.