Plea deal avoids third strike for kidnap, rape suspect

Vancouver man still gets 30 years in prison for lesser charges

By Jessica Prokop, Columbian Courts Reporter and Andy Matarrese, Columbian Breaking News Reporter

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A Vancouver man who impersonated a police officer as a ruse to kidnap and rape women was sentenced Wednesday to 30 years in prison.

Shannon “Shawn” Stover, 47, was facing a third-strike offense but negotiated a plea deal to avoid a life sentence. Under the state’s three-strikes law, offenders convicted three times of certain violent and sexual felonies receive mandatory life sentences.

Stover pleaded guilty in Clark County Superior Court to two counts of unlawful imprisonment, one count of intimidating a witness, one count of first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and two counts of attempted third-degree rape, a gross misdemeanor.

He was originally facing one count each of first-degree rape, first-degree kidnapping with sexual motivation, attempted first-degree rape and first-degree kidnapping, and two counts each of first-degree criminal impersonation, second-degree assault and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.

Deputy Prosecutor Patrick Robinson said the victims were open to taking the case to trial if needed, but preferred a resolution that didn’t require them to take the stand.

“We understand this is a bit of an unusual plea, but this is what happens when you face a third strike,” Robinson said.

According to court records, police said Stover posed as a police officer in the Ellsworth Springs neighborhood to lure two women in late November last year.

In both instances, Stover blocked the women’s cars with his, which had flashing blue and red lights. He then got out of his car and pointed a handgun at the women and their drivers, while wearing what looked like a police uniform. The women had been hired as escorts.

In one of the incidents, a woman reported Stover handcuffed her and then the put her in his car. When she managed to escape, Stover grabbed her and shocked her with a stun gun. She and her companion got away and called 911.

In the second instance, the woman told police Stover blindfolded, kidnapped, then raped her in a recording studio in his garage, according to court records.

Officers found evidence of her sexual assault on video recordings seized from Stover’s Vancouver residence during a search, court records said. They also found two loaded guns, video equipment, vehicles matching the descriptions of those used in the kidnappings, a police-type uniform, a vest with a badge emblem and the word “police” on it, a wig, utility belt and flashlights.