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Man accused of impersonating officer, soliticing sex, to stand trial
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A Kalamazoo man, accused of soliciting prostution on the Internet, then pretending to be a police officer to get the sex for free, will stand trial in Kent County.
32-year-old Lavern Filipunas was charged with two counts of extortion and impersonating a police officer.
Newschannel 3 attempted to get in touch with Filipunas, but no one answered at his door.
Court documents Newschannel 3 was able to obtain allege he agreed to pay two women $300 for sex.
The affidavit states when he got to the Super 8 Motel in Wyoming, he showed them a badge and said he was a police officer.
It goes on to say he told the women he wouldn't take them to jail if they performed sex acts with him, and that both women did so.
It also says Filipunas admitted to using his security badge to get a discount on the price for sex, saying he left without paying because both women said he didn't have to.
One of his neighbors, who declined to show their face, said stories like these should be taken as cautionary tales.
"I wouldn't encourage anybody to meet somebody on the Internet because of that reason right there," the neighbor said.
His attorney returned our call just before 5:00 p.m., and contested the extortion charge, on the grounds that one woman testified during a preliminary hearing that she hugged Filipunas and they exchanged phone numbers.
The attorney claimed the woman liked Filipunas, and that they were planning on having lunch.
So, what should you do if you think someone is pretending to be a police officer, and what signs might give it away?
Captain Kim Koster from the Wyoming Police says there a few signs.
"We wear uniforms, we have badges; we also have ID that actually identifies what agency we work for, what our name is," Capt. Koster said.
Capt. Koster also added that if you feel someone is impersonating a police officer, you can ask for the supervisor to come to the scene.