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By Noelene Clark
Seattle Times

BELLEVUE, Wash. - A 27-year-old Bellevue man accused of impersonating a police officer to force prostitutes to have sex with him was charged with extortion and criminal impersonation Thursday.
Sasidhar Vanapalli is being held at King County Jail on $500,000 bail on charges for an incident in Bellevue; Redmond police expect he'll face more charges related to a separate incident, according to Redmond Police Department spokesman Jim Bove.
Bellevue police believe Vanapalli responded to a Craigslist ad posted by a 19-year-old woman seeking work as an escort, said police department spokesman Greg Grannis.
The woman arranged to meet Vanapalli at his apartment in Bellevue Oct. 1 and have sex with him for $225 per hour, according to the charging documents.
In the apartment, the woman asked Vanapalli for "a donation," and he pulled out his wallet, flashed what appeared to be a silver-and-gold badge and told her she had been recorded, according to the documents. He told her she would be arrested if she didn't have sex with him for free, court documents say, and that he could keep her out of jail if she had sex with him once a week.
Vanapalli was arrested Oct. 20, and police found a badge, homemade fake police identification, handcuffs and a pistol in his apartment, Grannis said.
Redmond police are investigating a similar case in which a man responded to a Craiglist ad, posted by an 18-year-old Mountlake Terrace woman offering massages. Based on similarities in the case, evidence and information provided by the victims, police believe Vanapalli committed both crimes, Bove said.
Bove said the department expects rape and criminal-impersonation charges will be filed soon.
"There might be more people who may have fallen victim to the same stunt," Bove said, and urged them to come forward.
Vanapalli will be arraigned Nov. 5, said Dan Donohoe, spokesman for the King County Prosecutor's Office.

Wire Service
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