Article from Reason by Christian Britschgi.

For most people, the words “speed dating” refer to a matchmaking event where singles sit down with a large number of potential mates in rapid succession. For New Jersey State Trooper Eric Richardson, it reportedly involved threatening female motorists with tickets and arrest until they agree to go out with him.

On multiple occasions, the 32-year-old officer pulled over women for traffic violations, according to an indictment filed Thursday. The lovestruck lawman allegedly threatened the women with jail time and fines unless they handed over their phone numbers. Richardson then reportedly badgered the women over text in an attempt to start “an intimate relationship.”

Richardson has now been hit with six charges stemming from these stops, including official misconduct, criminal coercion, and falsifying or tampering with records. If convicted, Richardson could face up to 33 years in prison and $350,000 in fines.

“Police are given great authority and are rightly held to the highest standards of integrity. When officers abuse their authority, as alleged in this case, they must be held accountable,” said New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal in a statement on the charges.

Read the entire article at Reason.

Image Credit: By Jamelle Bouie [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons