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Charges announced against firefighter accused of posing as cop

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David Henry reports from police headquarters with details.

Action News has learned that a high ranking member of the Philadelphia Fire Department is in police custody, accused of posing as a police officer and sexually assaulting a young woman.

It happened around 10:30 Wednesday night on the 1300 block of West Ruscomb Street in the city's Logan section.

Police say a woman was walking on the street when she was approached by a man in a car who implied he was a police officer.

Philadelphia Police Lieutenant John Stanford explains, "At some point in time during this conversation he identifies himself as a police officer, which he is not. This young lady gets inside of his vehicle in fear that she was being arrested based on the things that this man said to her."

Once she's in the car, police say Fire Lt. Jemal Johnson forces her to perform a sex act.

The terrified young woman was able to escape from the car and immediately called the police.

Lieutenant Stanford says, "She contacts police. Based on the information that's provided to police and the information they get out to responding officers, they are able to stop this male in the, I believe, the 4800 block of North 12th Street, where he is identified as being the individual and he is arrested and taken into custody."

Lt. Jemal Johnson faces numerous charges.

He was stationed at Engine 45, Ladder 14 at 26th and York streets. The fire department says it can't comment until it has more information from the police.

The police credit the victim and patrol officers for making a quick arrest.

"Pretty quick in terms of the description. It had to be pretty accurate in terms of what she provided to the officers," Stanford said.

"And it was a great job by the responding uniformed officers and patrol from the 35th district. Quick response in being able to recognize this vehicle and then stopping this vehicle."

Johnson is charged with Kidnapping, Indecent Deviant Sexual Intercourse, Sexual Assault, Unlawful Restraint, Indecent Assault, Simple Assault, False Imprisonment, REAP, and Impersonating a Law Enforcement Officer. He was arraigned overnight, and his bail was set at $100,000.

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philly newspolice impersonatorsexual assaultNorth Philadelphia
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