Former D.C. Police Officer Sentenced in Sexual Abuse of 11-Year-Old Girl

By Amanda Hancock
|  Friday, Jul 11, 2014  |  Updated 7:55 PM EDT
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A former D.C. police officer who sexually abused a young girl was sentenced in D.C. federal court.

Wendel Palmer, 46, was sentenced to 18 years in prison this week for sexually abusing a girl on numerous occasions between 2004 and 2006, beginning when the girl was 10 or 11. After completing his prison term, he must register as a sex offender for 10 years.

Palmer, who joined the police department in 1990 and had been assigned to its Sixth District, was found guilty of first-degree child sexual abuse in November.

Palmer directed the girl in a choir at a D.C. church that she her and her family attended and which his family ran, police said.

Much of the abuse occurred at Palmer's Maryland home or at the church during rehearsal breaks and at other locations in the D.C. area.

Officials say the victim was afraid to report the abuse because Palmer was a police officer. She came forward in 2012, after she turned 18.

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