Man Convicted of Extorting A&M Professor to be Sentenced in Federal Court

By: Stephanie Ando Email
By: Stephanie Ando Email

The man accused of blackmailing A&M professor James Aune will be in federal court in Houston Tuesday for the sentencing phase of his trial.

Daniel Duplaisir, a Louisiana native, pleaded guilty to one count of extortion in June.

Duplaisir reportedly admitted to posing as a 16-year-old girl while engaging in an explicit online relationship with the Communications Professor. As part of the scam, Duplaisir also pretended to be the teenage girl's angry father, threatening to expose Aune if he didn't pay $5,000 in hush money.

Aune paid Duplaisir $1,500, then committed suicide by jumping from the roof of a parking garage on campus.

The professor's widow, Miriam, says she's seeing this trial through to the end in her husband's honor.

"I tried to hate [Duplaisir]. I thought of all the reasons I should hate him. Then when I actually physically saw him for the first time, it was like everything kind of collapsed. I thought this is a person deserving of pity and that's about all I have to offer him," said Miriam Aune.

Duplaisir is from Louisiana, and he has been in federal custody since his arrest.

Miriam Aune says the maximum penalty in this case is just two years in prison.


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