Police officers, being human, make mistakes.
But at least one police officer in Washington D.C. turned his mistakes into a side business of finding and prostituting teen girls.
Officer Linwood Barnhill Jr., 48, admitted in federal court that he forced girls to have sex with strangers in his D.C. apartment.
Barnhill, a 28-year-veteran of the police force, admitted he cruised malls and streets for girls he could pimp for $80. The girls, who were promised Victoria's Secret undergarments, ranged in age from 15 to 17 and paid Barnhill $20 for arranging "dates."
The police officer would typically approach the girls in his Lincoln Navigator and offer them jobs in the modelling industry. He would then take them back to his apartment and take nude photos of them with a cellphone.
I'm not saying these girls weren't smart, but I think most people shooting photos for the modelling industry use a camera, not a phone.
Police searched Barnhill's apartment the day after another D.C. police officer working in the same precinct was arrested for producing child porn.
That officer, Marc Washington, committed suicide shortly after being released. Washington was investigated after a runaway 15-year-old girl returned home and told her mother she had posed for nude pictures.
Police say the Barnhill and Washington cases are not related, but the timing of the search of Barnhill's apartment makes me wonder. Police say they went to Barnhill's apartment to search for a missing 16-year-old girl, whom they found.
During that search, police found two teen girls in Barnhill's apartment, marijuana and hundreds of condoms. One of the girls, a 16-year-old Barnhill renamed "Juicy," said she had met at least six other girls at the apartment and they were advertised on Backpage.com.
Prosecutors have asked a federal judge to sentence Barnhill to 8 years, which is lower than federal guidelines of nine to 12 years. He would also have to register as a sex offender and forfeit eight cellphones, a laptop and his Lincoln Navigator. There's no mention of what happens to his police pension.
The judge, Rosemary M. Collyer, said she wanted to speak to the "victims" before agreeing to the 8-year sentence.
Should a police officer be given a lesser sentence than a civilian? And why was Washington, who allegedly produced child porn, given bond?
Too bad criminals don't get side jobs in law enforcement, or maybe they do?
The Washington Post points out Barnhill and Washington were hired one year apart (1989 and 1990) when the department acknowledged that it lowered hiring standards to quickly add more cops to the street.
More Monday news discovered on the Internet:
- Drunk mom injures children when they fall off her car
- Mom jailed and may lose children after leaving them alone for job interview
- Lawyers can scour social media sites of potential jurors
- Elon Musk to build giant solar panel factory in U.S.A.
- Chicago getting lamp posts that count people
- Malaysia: Non-Muslims can't say the word 'Allah'
- Iraq's military seen as unable to defeat terror group
- U.S. seeks to censor memo that authorized drone strike on American
- After many years of testing, U.S. missile actually hits incoming test missile
- U.S. releases $572 million in military aid to Egypt
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.