WASHINGTON (AP/WJLA) - A District of Columbia police officer was arrested Wednesday on charges of enlisting two teenage girls to work for him as prostitutes, authorities said.
Linwood Barnhill Jr., who joined the force in 1989 and has been placed on administrative leave, faces two counts of pandering of a minor.
He appeared in court Wednesday.
Barnhill was arrested one week after police say they found in his apartment a 16-year-old girl who had earlier been reported missing. The girl told officers that she had met Barnhill, whom she said she knew as Malik, at the mall and that he initially invited her to model for him before offering to arrange for paid sex acts with other men, according to charging documents in the case. The girl said Barnhill had also taken nude photographs of her, offered to pay for clothing and hair-styling before a date, and that she had met other women at his apartment who said they worked for him as prostitutes, authorities said.
“That’s disgusting, that is all I have to say,” says Sandy Rock, of D.C.
A second 15-year-old girl interviewed Monday told police that Barnhill asked her to work as an escort for him and "told her that her young age was not a problem because he had other young girls who worked for him," the charging documents state.
Barnhill will be back in court on Friday.
Barnhill's arrest came as another D.C. police officer facing child pornography charges in a separate investigation was found dead in the Washington Channel. Police confirmed Wednesday that a man pulled from the water Tuesday night was 32-year-old Marc Washington, of Waldorf, Md. A phone message left with his public defender was not immediately returned. Police said a car and some clothes were found nearby.
Washington's death was under investigation and an autopsy was being done to determine how he died.
Though both officers had been assigned to the department's Seventh District, police have said the cases do not appear to be related.
"As disheartening as it is to have members of this department involved in this type of conduct, I take solace in knowing that it was members of this department who worked tirelessly to ensure that they were brought to justice," Police Chief Cathy Lanier said in a statement.
She told reporters Friday that the department was digging into the background of the officers -Barnhill has not been on full duty since September 2012 - and called the allegations against them devastating for the entire department.
Washington was arrested last week on charges of taking nude photographs of a 15-year-old runaway. Authorities say Washington had responded to the girl's apartment and after she returned home, asked to speak privately with her in her bedroom and then directed her to undress so that he could take pictures of any injuries. He later deleted some of the images from his camera in an apparent attempt to hinder the investigation, according to prosecutors.
Over the objection of prosecutors who asked that he be detained, a federal judge released Washington to permanent home confinement and he was ordered to wear an electronic monitoring device, which he received Tuesday.
The Pretrial Services Agency for the District of Columbia currently has about 375 defendants under high-intensity supervision, said director Clifford Keenan. He declined to discuss Washington's case in particular but said the agency uses a passive monitoring system for the vast majority of all defendants and is alerted to breaches of its supervision system through email or text messages. Notices of breaches that occur at night typically would not be seen until the next business day, he said.