In Brief

Turnpike Authority approves $250K payout in privacy suit against ex-trooper

By: - February 23, 2022 6:42 am

(Mary Iuvone for New Jersey Monitor)

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority agreed Tuesday to pay $250,000 to a woman who sued the state after a now-fired state trooper secretly stole a sexually explicit video off her phone during a car stop.

The New Orleans woman was in New Jersey to visit her mother in July 2016 when Marquice Prather pulled her over on the Garden State Parkway in Monmouth County. She gave Prather her phone, where she stored her insurance information, and Prather disappeared with it “for an inordinate amount of time,” according to a lawsuit she later filed.

Prather didn’t give her a ticket but instead repeatedly asked her what kind of beach she liked to visit in New Jersey, leaving her feeling intimidated and fearful, according to the suit.

About six months later, state troopers contacted her and told her that during the stop, Prather had turned off his cruiser’s recording device while he rifled through her phone and took her personal videos and phone numbers, according to court paperwork.

On Tuesday, commissioners approved the settlement without comment during the authority’s monthly meeting. The woman had initially demanded $750,000.

The lawsuit was one of at least two involving Prather, who was accused of a pattern of inappropriate conduct with female motorists he stopped, according to the Courier News and Home News Tribune.

Another woman said Prather pulled her over on Interstate 95 in Hamilton in January 2016 and took her phone, where she had pulled up her insurance information, according to her 2018 lawsuit. Investigators in January 2017 told her Prather had taken personal photos and phone numbers off her phone and shared the pictures with others, according to her lawsuit.

In September 2017, Prather pleaded guilty to several offenses, including invasion of privacy and tampering with records, and was sentenced to three years of probation. He had to give up his job and was barred from public employment in New Jersey.


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Dana DiFilippo
Dana DiFilippo

Dana DiFilippo comes to the New Jersey Monitor from WHYY, Philadelphia’s NPR station, and the Philadelphia Daily News, a paper known for exposing corruption and holding public officials accountable. Prior to that, she worked at newspapers in Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and suburban Philadelphia and has freelanced for various local and national magazines, newspapers and websites. She lives in Central Jersey with her husband, a photojournalist, and their two children.