MINEOLA, N.Y (AP)— A Long Island couple videotaped and photographed sexual encounters they had with people they met over the Internet, then forced them to pay hush money, police said Wednesday.
A preliminary investigation has uncovered two victims, but Nassau County police Detective Lt. Ray Cote said there could be dozens of others, given the large number of videos and photographs investigators have confiscated.
Police allege that Shawn Payne, 34, of East Hampton, and Michael Largue, 45, of Franklin Square, met potential victims on an Internet site.
On Sunday, a 43-year-old Long Island man told police that he had become involved in a relationship and was being blackmailed to keep it quiet.
"Unbeknownst to our victim, he was videotaped and photographed in compromising sexual positions," Cote said.
Police said they have found a second victim, a 47-year-old woman from upstate New York. They allege Largue had a sexual relationship with her and presented himself as a financial adviser, cajoling her into giving him $51,000.
Both alleged victims were in the midst of divorce proceedings a fact Payne and Largue seized upon to pressure the victims into paying, police said.
Police also allege that Largue held such sway over the female alleged victim that he eventually persuaded her to engage in acts of prostitution. Cote declined to elaborate.
Payne was arraigned Tuesday on charges of grand larceny, promoting prostitution and scheming to defraud, and remained held Wednesday on $20,000 bond. A message seeking comment from her attorney was not immediately returned Wednesday.
Largue was awaiting arraignment Wednesday on a charge of grand larceny.