Pierce County prosecutors dropped charges against a Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier who allegedly impersonated a police officer while trying to solicit prostitutes in Tacoma last year.
According to court documents filed Monday in Pierce County Superior Court, prosecutors dropped the charges against Sylvester Haliburton, 28, because they couldn't locate the two women whom he allegedly solicited in October.
"The state has attempted to serve both victims with a subpoena," according to court documents. "The addresses given have either been bad addresses or the process server has not located the victim at that address. The state has also made numerous attempts at phone contact with both victims."
"The state cannot prove the case without the victims' testimony."
According to the original charging documents, a woman contacted police about being solicited by a man driving a newer blue SUV with a Department of Defense sticker on the windshield Oct. 8 along Pacific Avenue in Tacoma.
The man showed the woman a badge and gun and said, "Tacoma Police. Get in the car. Don't make a scene."
The woman told police that the man started talking on a small walkie talkie, then told her that he was going to take her to jail, but, "I like you tonight."
Then, the suspect allegedly asked her where he could find some underge girls and told the woman that he wouldn't take her to jail if she performed oral sex, according to the court documents. The woman was able to get out of the SUV in the area of 84th.
Four days later, another woman contacted authorities about a man claiming he was a police officer while trying to solicit sex. This time, documents state, the man picked her up in the area of 96th Street.
"They stopped in a parking lot, and the suspect told her he was an undercover police officer and flashed a gold star-shaped badge from his wallet," court documents state.
The man told the woman that he would "call backup if she caused any problems."
The woman told him to call backup, but he didn't. Instead, he told her that he was a police officer on an undercover sting looking for pimps and underage prostitutes.
The woman told police that she tried to jump out of the car, but he grabbed her by the wrists. She told him she had several children, including one with epilepsy. The man apologized and gave her $50, warning that if he had wanted to, he could have hurt her and reached for a black, semi-automatic handgun under the seat. The woman left, but not without taking his military ID card.
She gave that to police, who traced it back to Haliburton, who denied impersonating a police officer or kidnapping anyone, according to court documents.