Fake officer faces real charges

Fake officer faces real charges

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SALT LAKE CITY -- A Salt Lake City man is facing sodomy and kidnapping charges after police say he threatened prostitutes on North Temple.

Police said John Lepore found the prostitutes on North Temple, but he didn't act like a regular "John." Investigators said he told the women he was a cop, even flashing a badge.

Salt Lake City police Sgt. Robin Snyder said, "The badge was actually in a badge wallet and looked like a police officer badge."

Snyder said Lepore then coerced the women into sex acts.

"Once she got into the vehicle, he flashed a badge at her and told her that if she didn't want to go to jail that she would have to perform a sex act on him," Snyder said.

Police didn't have much evidence to go on, just that he drove a red Camaro. Last week, another officer spotted Lepore's Camaro trolling North Temple, possibly looking for more victims. Lepore was arrested at his home.

Snyder said Lepore would take his victims to an industrial area on the west side of town, then leave them there to find their way back into the city. The first incident they knew of happened last year.

Snyder said more victims may be out there, but it may be hard to convince them to come forward since they were engaging in an illegal activity. So far, three victims have been identified.

E-mail: pnelson@ksl.com

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