Police: Potential for more fake officer victims

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Charged with impersonating someone sworn to serve and protect, a Kansas City man is now accused of preying on a female victim.

Grant Rader, 34, is charged with forcible sodomy and false impersonation of a police officer.

"It's rare that people impersonate police officers - that's why we are taking this case so seriously," said Eric Zahnd, the Platte County prosecuting attorney.

The charges stem from a night in early March where a 25-year-old woman was celebrating her upcoming birthday at Kansas City's Power & Light District. Prosecutors say it appears Rader followed the woman who took a cab to her Northland apartment.

"This man identified himself as a police officer, also, did other things to make them think he was a police officers. He had what, the witnesses said, what sounded like police radio traffic coming from his vehicle. He also had a computer in his vehicle that seemed to suggest that he might be some sort of law enforcement official," said Zahnd.

According to police, Rader put the woman into his red pickup truck and parked on another side of the complex.

"The defendant said, look, I'm going to have to take you in unless you perform a sex act. She refused to perform that sex act. At that time he said well, then I'm going to have to search you. And during his alleged search, sexually abused her," Zahnd said.

Prosecutors say a friend of the woman who witnessed the initial confrontation drove to a local precinct to bail her friend out of jail.

"Went to the north patrol KCMO headquarters, to bail her friend out. Ultimately, her friend never showed up of course because this man was not a police officer," said Zahnd.

While the woman was eventually released, and Rader caught, authorities say its important for people to protect themselves from similar scenarios.

"If you're not sure about that, trust your instincts," said Zahnd.

"In the rare event that it smells funny, you need to trust your instincts and there are a few things you can do to make sure your safe. Get on your cell phone and call 911. If an officers is stopping you, they need to get out on traffic with the dispatcher to log the stop so it should not be a secret that anyone is being stopped," said Steve Young of Kansas City, Mo., police.

"We want people to be able to trust that somebody who identifies themselves as a police officer is A) a police officers and B) there to help. That's what makes this case so disturbing," said Zahnd.

Rader faces 4 years for the impersonation charge and up to life in prison for the sexual assault.

Police believe it's possible there may be more victims and encourage anyone with information to call police.

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