GRAND RAPIDS (WWJ/AP) - A Kalamazoo man who authorities say impersonated a police officer as part of an effort to get sex from a pair of women at a West Michigan motel has accepted a plea deal.
Lavern Stephen Filipunas, 32, pleaded no contest to impersonating an officer and extortion in an agreement with prosecutors, which calls for up to a year in jail. He’s due back in Kent County Circuit Court for sentencing on June 6.
Authorities say Filipunas posted an ad on Backpage.com in February 2012, seeking women to have sex with him for $300. Two women responded to the ad and made arrangements to meet Filipunas at the Super 8 Motel in Wyoming.
The women claim that Filipunas flashed a security guard badge after they arrived at a motel, and threatened to take them to jail if they didn’t perform sexual favors for free. In a court hearing, one of the women testified that Filipunas said: “In order for me not to take you guys to jail, what are you going to do for me?”
Filipunas allegedly told the women he’s made similar arrests at the motel before, and that a white van with two officers was sitting outside the motel.
According to court testimony, the women both performed sex acts on Filipunas, who promptly left afterwards without giving the women any money.
Defense lawyer Lesley Kranenberg says Filipunas never directly said he was a police officer. According to court documents, Filipunas told police he used his security badge “to get a ‘discount’ on the price for sex.” He also told police that he left without paying them because both women said he didn’t have to pay, Mlive.com reported. The women, however, said they wouldn’t have performed the sex acts for free.
A no contest plea isn’t an admission of guilt, but is treated as such for sentencing purposes.
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