A university professor killed himself after being caught up in a catfish scam which saw him sending sexually explicit pictures of himself to someone he thought was a minor.
Texas A&M’s James Arnt Aune, 59, jumped from a campus parking garage Jan. 8 after a relative of the underage Louisiana girl he was contacting tried to blackmail him for $5,000.
Aune sent his alleged tormentor — Daniel Timothy Duplaisir, 37 — a text message just minutes before his death which said: “Killing myself now. And u will be prosecuted for blackmail.”
Police say Duplaisir took unclad pictures and videos of his young relative and created a page on the social-networking MocoSpace.com.
Using a fake name, and the email address firstname.lastname@example.org, he targeted several men — obtaining their phone numbers and sending them the graphic content.
Then, he would call his alleged victims — pretending to be the girl’s outraged father — and demand payment of thousands of dollars to cover the cost of her counseling.
Chron.com reports Duplaisir wanted married Houston father-of-two Aune, who was also chair of the school’s Department of Communications, to pay him $5,000.
An FBI affidavit revealed he threatened to call police and his employers if his demands were not met.
Aune, who told his wife in mid-December he was being blackmailed, allegedly handed him $1,000 and promised to send more money later on in the month, the document added.
Duplaisir, charged in 2011 with aggravated inc*st and oral s*xual battery for allegedly abusing the same female relative he used in the scam, was indicted last week.
He is due to be arraigned in federal court Tuesday on a charge of using a phone and the Internet to extort money from Aune.