Authorities are investigating whether a veteran D.C. police officer was running a prostitution ring out of his Southeast Washington apartment, where they found a 16-year-old girl who had been reported missing, according to documents unsealed in federal court.
The officer, who has been on the force 24 years, had not been arrested as of Thursday evening, but he was put on paid administrative leave as police continued their investigation. The teenager told police that the officer took nude photos of her and arranged for her to have sex for money, the court papers say.
News of the allegation broke publicly as another D.C. police officer was in U.S. District Court facing afederal charge of producing child pornography. Marc L. Washington, 32, was arrested Monday on allegations that he took pictures of a semi-nude 15-year-old who had run away from home.
Authorities said it does not appear that the cases are related, but the specter of having two officers from the 7th District station house in Southeast Washington investigated on crimes linked to sexual abuse of minors has shaken the 4,000-member department. D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier said the department “is very concerned about the recent allegations of egregious conduct.”
Lanier acknowledged that the cases could make the force look bad, but she said that “misguided actions of a few in no way reflects on the professionalism, dedication and integrity of the department.”
The Washington Post is not naming the 47-year-old officer because he not been charged with a crime and was not identified in the search warrant application, filed in U.S. District Court. Efforts to reach him were not successful.
It was unclear how investigators came to focus on the officer and the apartment on Stanton Road. The court documents state only that detectives investigating a family’s report of a missing 16-year-old girl learned that she might be at the officer’s residence.