Man sentenced for posing as police officer to commit sexual assault

A man who impersonated a police officer received 15 years in prison from Platte County judge Thomas C. Fincham last week.

Grant Rader

Grant C. Rader, 36, pleaded guilty Thursday, March 5 in Platte County Circuit Court to forcible sodomy and false impersonation. The charges stemmed from a 2013 incident when he allegedly followed the victim home from Kansas City’s Power and Light District before approaching her, placing her in his vehicle, driving a short distance away and sexually assaulting her — all under the guise of a police arrest.

A few hours after the assault, Rader sent a text message to a friend reading, “Dude whatever happens I was at ur house till 5am to get my keys, so I could drive home! I did not drive to pnl.”

“This is a particularly frightening crime,” Platte County prosecutor Eric Zahnd said. “The defendant went to great lengths to pretend to be someone sworn to protect and serve so that he could assault and violate. He is a predator in the truest sense of the term.”

On March 7, 2013, the victim was at the Power and Light — a popular bar district — celebrating her upcoming birthday with her sister and a friend. Rader was also there but did not interact with the woman at that location.

The woman’s sister left sometime after midnight when the two of them got into an argument. The victim then took a cab back to her apartment in the Northland, and her friend followed to make sure she arrived safely.

Rader apparently saw the argument and the victim get into a cab alone. He followed the cab to the woman’s apartment.

After arriving at the woman’s apartment, Rader approached the woman, identified himself as a police officer and told the victim she was under arrest. The woman’s friend argued with Rader for about 20 minutes to just let the victim go.

Rader refused to release the woman and left with her in his truck.

Within minutes, the victim’s friend called the Kansas City Police Department to find out how to post bond for the victim. Police told her there was no active duty Kansas City police officer by the name Rader had given, a retired Kansas City (Mo.) Police Department officer.

The dispatcher advised the friend to hang up and dial 911.

While the friend was on the phone with police, Rader drove to another location in the apartment parking lot and told the victim that he would have to “search” her, forcing the victim to partially disrobe. Rader told the victim he would not take her to jail if she would have sex with him.

The victim refused and Rader sexually assaulted her. He then made her get out and left.

The victim reported that she heard police “chatter” coming from Rader’s phone, and that he had a computer mounted to the dashboard of his truck with a map on it. Police later found that Rader’s phone and iPad had a police scanner app that would have produced the chatter described.

Rader’s truck had a bracket on the dash to hold an iPad, and police also found a badge during a search of his home.

“This defendant clearly had a plan to find a vulnerable woman and sexually assault her,” Zahnd said. “He had a police scanner app on his phone, a badge, and made his iPad look like a police computer. It’s chilling that someone would masquerade as a police officer in order to sexually abuse another person.”

Zahnd offered advice on how to avoid a person impersonating a police officer.

If you are pulled over, it should be by a uniformed officer with a badge in a marked vehicle with lights. The officer should be able to show you current police department identification.

When in doubt, call 911. You can drive slowly in your car with your flashers on while talking with 911 until marked units arrive.

If you feel uneasy, ask for a supervisor or other officers to come to the scene.

Trust your instinct. If the situation doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t.

Rader must complete 85 percent of his prison sentence before becoming eligible for parole.