The Metropolitan Police Department searched the home of one of its own officers Wednesday on suspicion he was operating a prostitution ring out of his apartment after a 16-year-old girl who was reported missing was found there, according to documents unsealed in federal court today. The cop, who is not identified, is suspected of pimping the girl and at least six other teenagers out of his Southeast DC residence, authorities say.
Police looking for the missing girl were led to the suspected officer's on Tuesday evening. Upon entering, investigators smelled burning marijuana, and found the 16-year-old inside the bedroom along with another 18-year-old woman, according to a police affidavit.
The 16-year-old then told investigators that she had been to the cop's apartment before, and that on one visit, the suspect set her up on a "date" with an older man during which she would be paid $80 to perform sexual acts, with $20 percent going back to the suspect. The girl also told investigators the officer took photographs of her on his cell phone while she was naked save a pair of sparkly high-heel shoes, with the photos being used to sell her, the affidavit reads.
"Subsequent to taking the photos, the suspect advised the complainant that the potential date 'liked' her photos and wanted to have the date with her. The suspect told the complainant that her nickname for prostitution purposes was going to be 'Juicy,'" according to the affidavit.
Documents also state that in her visits to the cop's apartment, the 16-year-old met at least six other women who told her how much money they had made as prostitutes for the suspect, and that he had been advertising them on Backpage.com, a classified advertisement website that has been used by several sex-trafficking organizations. Police responding to the missing persons call requested an additional search warrant to investigate the prostitution allegations.
When investigators returned to the apartment on Wednesday night, they recovered nine pairs of shoes, a bra, a mirror, and a black bag and white container both full of condoms, the warrant reads.
The search on the cop's home came just two days after another DC Police officer was arrested on child pornography charges. Prosecutors say Office Marc Washington, a seven-year MPD veteran, took several nude photos of a 15-year-old girl while investigating a report that she had run away from home. Both Washington and the officer suspected of running the prostitution outfit work in the MPD's Seventh District, which covers Southeast.
"The Department is very concerned about the recent allegations of egregious conduct by two officers," DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier says in a statement released this afternoon. "We recognize that the actions of individual officers reflect on the entire Department. To uncover any potential malfeasance by officers, the Department regularly conducts audits and investigations of their conduct and behavior, both when on-duty and off-duty. The misguided actions of a few in no way reflect on the professionalism, dedication, and integrity of the Department."