SOMERS POINT, N.J. (CBS) – A South Jersey therapist is facing charges after authorities say she tried to hire someone to “permanently disfigure” a man in Massachusetts.
Authorities say Diane Sylvia, 58, Somers Point, was a licensed clinical social worker who provided mental health counseling at an office in Linwood.
Sylvia allegedly asked one of her clients, a former member of an organized criminal gang, to assault a man because he had allegedly been bilking her for money over the years. The individual alerted law enforcement to Sylvia’s plans and discontinued therapy with her.
According to the criminal complaint, Sylvia was later introduced to a purported hitman, who was, in reality, an undercover FBI agent.
In October, Sylvia told the undercover FBI agent that she did not want the Massachusetts man killed; she wanted him beaten and permanently disfigured. Sylvia said, “He needs his pretty little face bashed in, that’s what I really want.” She later added that “a broken arm would help, too,” explaining that “all he has is, like, his big muscles and his cute face.”
She later repeated, “I really just want his face punched in, I swear to God. And his arm broken, that’s what I want.”
When asked how assaulting this man would help Sylvia, she replied, “It’s just gonna make me feel better” and “it’s the only way I can get him back.”
On Monday, Sylvia was charged with one count of solicitation to commit a crime of violence.
Authorities say Sylvia paid the undercover FBI agent a total of $5,000 cash to carry out the assault plan.