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Charges dropped against JBLM soldier accused of impersonating officer in conversations with prostitutes; State can’t find women

Post by Alexis Krell / The News Tribune on Feb. 13, 2013 at 7:28 pm with No Comments »
February 13, 2013 7:29 pm

Pierce County prosecutors have dropped charges against a Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier accused of impersonating a Tacoma police officer in conversations with two prostitutes and trapping one of the women in his car.

Sylvester Haliburton, 28, had been charged with two counts of first-degree criminal impersonation and one count of first-degree unlawful imprisonment. After his arrest, he was placed under the supervision of his superiors at JBLM.

The charges were dismissed Monday, according to court records, because the state couldn’t find either of the women. If they are found in the future, prosecutors can refile the charges within the statute of limitations for the alleged crimes.

According to the original charging documents:

Haliburton flashed a badge, showed a gun and identified himself as a Tacoma police officer Oct. 8 when a known prostitute opened the door to his car.

He told her to get in, which she did, and said he wouldn’t take her to jail if she gave him free oral sex. He also asked her where to find underage girls, and she lied and gave a location. When they got there, she fled.

Another woman said he approached her Oct. 14 in the 9000 block of Pacific Avenue and agreed to pay her $80 for sex. He showed a gold star-shaped badge and threatened to call for backup if she caused problems. She tried to get out of the car, at which point he grabbed her wrists and pulled her back inside, she said.

She told him she had an epileptic child, and he apologized, gave her $50 and then showed what looked like a handgun and said he could hurt her.

She gave police an identification card she got from the man. It identified him as part of the Army. Police arrested him on base.

Haliburton said he gave a girl a ride, but denied that anything else happened.


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