Wedding Photog Posed as Pornographer to Trick Women into Bed, Feds Say

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Mario Antoine as shown in a mugshot from a previous arrest in Wyandotte County, Kansas.
  • Mario Antoine as shown in a mugshot from a previous arrest in Wyandotte County, Kansas.

A 33-year-old Missouri man may have thought he'd found a foolproof way to convince women to have sex with him — by posing as a talent manager, photographer and videographer for various porn productions.

And when the women complained that the checks he gave them had bounced, or that the paperwork he provided didn't check out, authorities allege Mario Ambrose Antoine had a really sleazy way of fighting back: He forwarded evidence of their sexual activity to significant others and employers, they say. In some cases, he even blackmailed the women into having sex with him again or giving them money to keep him from going public. Talk about a creep.

The disturbing details come from the U.S. Department of Justice, which charged the former wedding photographer in a 21-count indictment returned yesterday. The case was handled by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Kansas City.

A press release from the prosecutors indicates that Antoine had been working his scheme since 2011, "auditioning" dozens of women throughout the Kansas City area.

As the indictment makes clear, this wasn't just a case of a smooth talker spinning hypothetical connections. Records show Antoine had been previously charged with scamming brides out of their money by posing as a wedding photographer, then not showing up on the big day — behavior that earned him a conviction on nine felony counts. Despite that, though, he got a sentence of just 30 days in jail; the judge said he wanted him back to work so he could repay the couples he'd stiffed. Instead, he allegedly went to work scamming even more women, with an even more detestable scheme.

In this latest ruse, prosecutors allege, Antoine allegedly created numerous falsified and forged documents, tax forms and even false Facebook pages to back up his story. His scheming wasn't limited to getting the women into bed. The indictment says that he also allegedly conducted Google searches for “rape by deception,” “rape by deception kansas,” and “illegal to trick girls into sleeping with you,” viewing websites and law journals regarding the criminality of committing rape by fraud or deception.

Clearly, he wasn't careful enough; the federal indictment charges Antoine with twelve counts of wire fraud, two counts of cyberstalking, two counts of online enticement, two counts of making false statements to federal law enforcement agents, one count of obstructing justice, one count of extortion and one count of the false registration of a domain name. 

Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

If you know someone who believes they've been a victim, the investigation into Antoine is ongoing. Contact the FBI at 816-512-8200.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at sarah.fenske@riverfronttimes.com

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