Minnechaug senior accused of extorting, kidnapping 2 men

18-year-old Giancarlo Daniele was arrested on multiple charges, including extortion and kidnapping. However, his lawyer argued that the victims in this case are
Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 6:25 PM EST
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WILBRAHAM, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - Western Mass News has dug deeper into an arrest involving a high school senior from Wilbraham, who is accused of extorting two different men for money after allegedly kidnapping them and threatening them with a taser.

18-year-old Giancarlo Daniele was arrested on multiple charges, including extortion and kidnapping. However, his lawyer argued that the victims in this case are not really victims at all.

A senior at Minnechaug High School in Wilbraham, Daniele is now out on bail. According to court documents obtained by Western Mass News, Daniele confronted two men, accusing them of trying to communicate with a 14-year-old girl named Paige through dating websites and social media.

For one victim identified as Sean Pennington, Daniele allegedly forced him into a car, threatened him with a taser, and demanded $2,000 or he would tell police.

The second victim, James Williams, admitted to talking to the girl online, and agreeing to meet with her at a spot on Maplewood Drive in Wilbraham.

Western Mass News confirmed THAT Pennington is a coach for a youth swim team, the East Longmeadow Marlins. We checked in with the East Longmeadow Parks and Rec office, which runs that team, and they had no comment.

In the court documents, Pennington said that he had not used dating apps for quite some time.

Western Mass News spoke with Daniele’s attorney, Dan Kelly, who said that there is more to this case than just the actions of his client.

“The people here were under the assumption that they were meeting a very young girl, teenage girl, for an encounter, for a physical encounter,” Kelly said. “I mean, to the point that they were directed to go to a side street because the girl would tell them, ‘My parents are home and we have to meet in your car, around the corner.’ So, that should’ve been a tip-off to some men, but certainly didn’t dissuade this individual.”

As for why Pennington and Williams were allegedly targeted, Kelly had this to say:

“These people were not, their names were not selected out of a hat. They’re not targeted randomly. He didn’t pick a name out of a phonebook. These are individuals, sometimes when you go looking for trouble, you find it.”

Daniele’s bail was set at $10,000 last Thursday, and he made bail that day. He is expected back in court in April.