A Raymore man who conned two dozen women into having sex with him was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in federal prison.
Mario Ambrose Antoine led his victims, many of whom were in desperate financial situations, to believe that they would be paid tens of thousands of dollars to appear in pornographic films overseas.
But first, he had to “audition” them on camera. None of the women was ever paid.
“Antoine perpetrated this depraved scheme on dozens of women throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area and beyond,” federal prosecutors said in a memorandum seeking the 10-year sentence.
If they complained, he threatened to send compromising images of them to their family or friends, and in some cases did just that.
Antoine, 34, pleaded guilty in May in U.S. District Court in Kansas City to wire fraud.
On Wednesday, District Judge Beth Phillips followed the plea agreement and imposed the 10-year sentence.
Phillips said she could not remember a more “outrageous” set of facts and said the way Antoine harassed and intimidated victims when they complained “put the icing on the cake.”
“It was most certainly in your best interest,” she said of the plea deal.
Antoine previously operated a wedding photography business and was prosecuted on state charges of stealing by deceit and unlawful merchandising practices.
The crimes he was sentenced for Wednesday began in 2011 and continued even while he was on probation in the previous case.
Posing as a woman named “Nikki,” Antoine would contact women on Facebook, complimenting their looks and asking if they were interested in modeling.
He would eventually steer the conversations to adult modeling. Women were told they could make tens of thousands of dollars and their work would be available only on private websites overseas.
“Nikki” would arrange for the women to meet a photographer named “Mario” or “Chris” at Antoine’s house in Raymore.
They would be met by Antoine, who showed the women phony documents, checks to other women and tax forms to make the business seem legitimate.
He also had them sign contracts and model release forms. He would then act as the male model and film their sexual activity in the guise of auditions.
When they left, they were promised that their checks would arrive soon.
“Weeks and months would pass and none of these women were ever paid,” prosecutors wrote.
Many who complained about not getting paid were victimized further by Facebook messages sent to people who knew them.
“These friends, boyfriends or employers would receive messages informing them that the young woman was a porn star, and these messages would often be accompanied by pictures of the young women engaged in the sexual activity,” according to prosecutors.