California man posing as cop charged with sexual assault

By David Ferguson
Thursday, May 23, 2013 11:55 EDT
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Wesley Stepp via screencap
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A California man accused of impersonating a police officer in a robbery and sexual assault case appeared in court on Wednesday. According to CBS-LA, Wesley Robert Stepp, 28, is charged with multiple felony counts including second-degree robbery, first-degree burglary with a person present, three counts of sexual battery by restraint, false imprisonment by violence, impersonating a police officer and possession of a billy club.

Stepp reportedly used a website to arrange for a meeting with a prostitute at a hotel in El Segundo, California. Police spokesperson Lt. Jaime Bermudez told CBS News that once inside the room with the woman, Stepp allegedly identified himself a police officer, flashed a fake badge and locked the woman into handcuffs, then sexually assaulted her.

The woman reported that Stepp was joined by an accomplice who took her cash and credit cards. Stepp was apprehended on Monday when he tried to use one of the stolen credit cards.

Stepp’s accomplice, who, said KTLA is believed to be a man who goes by the name Eric Thrope, is still at large.

KTLA spoke to tenants of a Koreatown building that Stepp once managed. They reported that the 28-year-old was a bully who frequently flashed his fake police badge as a way of intimidating the locals.

“At first he seemed like he was this really cool guy, and as you got to know him you him, you see him turn into this monster,” one resident told the TV station.

“He actually flashed the gun at a couple of people a couple times, and the police badge also,” said another woman.

Resident D’Angelo Smith said, “I think he’s a bully, though. He’s a real bully, and he tries to press that ‘I’m bigger than the law’ thing.”

Watch video about this story, embedded via KTLA Los Angeles, below:

David Ferguson
David Ferguson
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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