A D.C. police officer is facing felony charges following allegations that he "pimped" teenage girls, police announced Wednesday. News4's Shomari Stone has the story.
A D.C. police officer is facing felony charges following allegations that he "pimped" teenage girls, police announced Wednesday.
Linwood Barnhill, 47, was charged Wednesday with two counts of pandering of a minor. In the District, pandering is defined as inducing or compelling an individual to engage in prostitution.
The charges comprise one count each for allegedly pimping a 16-year-old girl and a 15-year-old girl. Authorities say Barnhill advertised the girls on Backpages.com and by other means for $50-$80, News4's Mark Segraves reported.
Sources tell Segraves that other D.C. police officers are being questioned in the case, including his roommate who is also a D.C. officer.
In court Wednesday afternoon, Barnhill was shackled as he appeared before a D.C. Superior Court judge. He did not enter a plea and was ordered held until his next court date Friday.
His attorney asked that he be separated from the general population while in a D.C. jail.
Barnhill was arrested Wednesday morning, eight days after he was found inside his Southeast D.C. apartment with a 16-year-old girl who had been reported missing, as well as an 18-year-old woman.
The 16-year-old told authorities that Barnhill had approached her at a shopping mall about two weeks earlier and asked if she wanted to be a model. She visited his apartment several times after that, and at one point, Barnhill gave her a cellphone and told the girl he had made a "date" for her with another man to engage in sex acts, according to charging documents.
He told her that the man would pay her $80 and the girl should give Barnhill $20 of it, the documents say.
The girl also told authorities that Barnhill took naked photos of her wearing sparkly high-heeled shoes he had given her, and told her he'd take her shopping at Rainbow to purchase clothes for the "date."
The girl also told authorities that she met other women at the apartment who said they had worked as prostitutes for him, according to a search warrant affidavit.
A court hearing Wednesday afternoon revealed that police have found a second alleged victim, a 15-year-old girl. That girl told authorities she met Barnhill at a bus stop in September and initially told him she was 18, before admitting that she was 15 after Barnhill asked her to "escort" for him.
"The defendant informed [the girl] that he plans bachelor parties and has 'tons' of girls. [The girl] stated the defendant told her that her young age was not a problem because he had other minors who worked for him," the charging documents state.
Barnhill took nude and clothed photos of the girl and then arranged for her to have sex with a man in his 40s or 50s in Barnhill's bedroom, the documents say. Barnhill allegedly provided condoms for the encounter.
The 15-year-old girl performed the sex acts and then told Barnhill she was not interested in continuing to work for him, according to authorities.
A mirror in Barnhill's apartment displayed the names of other women whom the 16-year-old girl said were prostitutes, police said. Authorities say they know of at least six other females allegedly pimped by Barnhill. The ages of these girls or women are unknown at this point, Segraves reported.
If convicted, Barnhill could face up to 20 years in prison. He is due back in court Friday morning for a detention hearing and preliminary hearing.
Barnhill's arrest came hours after a D.C. officer facing child porn charges was found dead in the waters of Hains Point in Southwest D.C.
Last week, 32-year-old Marc Washington was arrested after he allegedly went to the home of a 15-year-old girl who had previously been reported missing, ordered her to remove her clothing and took photos of her, all while he was on duty.
In a press conference last week, Lanier said that while both officers were from the same precinct, the two investigations were not connected.
"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 L. Lanier said in a release regarding Barnhill's arrest.
Barnhill, who has been with D.C.'s Metropolitan Police Department for 24 years, has been on light duty since September 2012. Lanier declined to comment on why, citing medical privacy laws.
He is now on administrative leave.
A third officer is also under investigation for possibly tipping Washington off about his forthcoming arrest earlier this week, sources said.
All three officers work in MPD's Seventh District, law enforcement sources said.