MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Northfield man faces sexual assault, coercion and prostitution charges after being accused of posing as law enforcement and forcing a prostitute to have sex.

The Dakota County Attorney’s Office says 26-year-old Alex Michael Hollinger is accused of connecting with a woman via backpage.com to have sex for money, but then claimed to be associated with law enforcement and threatened her to have sex with him for free or face jail.

The criminal complaint states a West St. Paul woman reported to police in December of 2013 that a man agreed to pay her $250 for sex during the last week of November.

The two met up at the Mall of America for drinks, then went back to her apartment, where Hollinger told the woman as she was undressing that he was involved in law enforcement and was going to school for prostitution stings. She began to cry and said she was afraid to lose her daughter. Hollinger allegedly told her she could sleep with him or “go to jail and maybe lose your daughter.”

The victim said she cried the entire time, and Hollinger left a $10 bill on the floor before leaving. He later texted to say he wanted what they had done to be a “regular thing.”

The woman says she came to police after Hollinger would not stop texting and eventually showed up at her residence, where he asked her mother if he could see her, giving her online name.

The phone number she gave police was traced to Hollinger, and investigators say he matched the description she provided.

Rochester police then started to investigate Hollinger in February of 2014, when a woman told police a very similar story. A search of Hollinger’s Rochester home uncovered clothing from two different police departments, and his cellphone revealed that he had been contacting several escort agencies for sex. He had even been in a text conversation about sex for money on the day the search warrant was executed.

Hollinger denies ever paying women for sex, and could not explain the evidence from his cellphone. Investigators last questioned him about the West St. Paul case in mid-July of this year. He is not yet in police custody.

He was charged Wednesday with fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct, one count of coercion and one could of prostitution. He could face up to 18 months in jail.