News & Politics

Police Documents Reveal More About Cop Who Allegedly Ran Prostitution Outfit

A police affidavit alleges that Officer Linwood Barnhill, Jr. used girls as young as 15.

Photograph by Flickr user Lee Cannon.

Metropolitan Police Department Officer Linwood Barnhill, Jr., arrested Wednesday on charges that he ran a prostitution ring from his apartment, recruited girls as young as 15-years-old, according to an affidavit that led to the arrest. The document, released yesterday evening, also goes into much further detail about how Barnhill allegedly lured teenagers into his operation.

Barnhill allegedly brought girls on by asking them if they would be interested in “modeling” for him, the affidavit states. A 16-year-old girl who was found at his apartment last week said Barnhill approached her at a shopping mall several weeks ago, according to police records.

The 15-year-old girl, who was interviewed by police on Monday, met Barnhill at a bus stop in Southeast DC in September, she told police. She said Barnhill was driving a black truck consistent with the Lincoln Navigator that investigators seized when they searched Barnhill’s home last week. When Barnhill asked if she would be interested in modeling for him, she got in the vehicle and agreed to go back to the officer’s apartment, according to the police account.

However, Barnhill first offered to give her a lift to DC Superior Court for an appointment related to her probation for marijuana possession. It was during that car ride that Barnhill allegedly said he was interested in having the girl doing more than just some modeling, the affidavit reads.

According to the affidavit, the girl “stated that during the drive she initially informed the defendant that she was 18 years old but subsequently told him that she was 15 years old when the defendant asked her to ‘escort’ for him. The defendant informed [the girl] that he plans bachelor parties and has ‘tons’ of girls.”

The girl also told police that Barnhill said that her age “was not a problem because he had other minors who worked for him.”

In allegations similar to those made by the 16-year-old girl interviewed by police last week, the 15-year-old told police that when she visited Barnhill’s home with an adult relative, he took nude photographs of her in his bedroom. A few days later, Barnhill picked her up and took her back to his appartment where she had sex with a middle-aged man, collecting $80 for intercourse and $50 or $60 for oral sex, the affidavit reads.

The girl told Barnhill that she felt uncomfortable following the encounter and said that she did not want to continue “escorting,” she told police.

Barnhill joined MPD in 1989, but has not been on full-time duty since September 2012. At his arraignment yesterday he was ordered to be held without bond. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Friday.

Affidavit against MPD Officer Linwood Barnhil, Jr.

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.