Former MPD Officer Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison for Pandering a Minor and Possession of Child Pornography
WASHINGTON—Linwood Barnhill, 48, a former officer with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), was sentenced today to seven years in prison after earlier pleading guilty to two counts of pandering a minor and one count of possession of child pornography.
The sentencing was announced by U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr., Andrew G. McCabe, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, and Cathy L. Lanier, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department.
Barnhill, who was assigned to the Seventh Police District, pled guilty in June 2014 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. He has resigned from the department. His plea agreement, which was subject to the Court’s approval, called for a seven-year prison sentence.
The Honorable Rosemary M. Collyer accepted the plea and sentenced Barnhill today. Upon completion of his prison term, Barnhill will be placed on 10 years of supervised release. He also will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
According to the government’s evidence, on Dec. 3, 2013, officers with the MPD’s Youth Investigations Division located a missing 16-year-old girl at Barnhill’s residence in Washington, D.C. Over the course of the previous two weeks, the government’s evidence showed, Barnhill had begun the process of cultivating the juvenile to engage in prostitution, including taking clothed and unclothed photographs of her. During this time-frame, he stated that he was going to send the photos to a man who was interested in “an appointment” with her. Barnhill further explained that he was going to set up a “date” for her to engage in sexual acts with this man, who would pay her $80. The juvenile was to provide Barnhill with $20 after the completion of the “date.” Barnhill arranged to have the juvenile’s hair done in preparation for the date. The 16-year-old never actually engaged in prostitution for the defendant.
During the course of the ensuing investigation, MPD officers and members of the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force learned that the defendant was involved in prostitution-related activities with other adult and juvenile females, including a 15-year-old.
According to the government’s evidence, the 15-year-old met Barnhill in September 2013, when he pulled up to her at a bus stop and asked if she was interested in modeling for him. The 15-year-old agreed to model for the defendant and went back to his apartment to “take modeling pictures.” Barnhill, who asked her to escort for him, took a series of clothed and unclothed photographs of the girl. Later that night, he contacted her by cell phone and told her that he had somebody that wanted to meet her for a “date.” Barnhill collected the money and paid the 15-year-old a portion of that money once she was finished with the “date.”
In addition, during the course of the investigation, law enforcement identified a 17-year-old female who also met the defendant in October 2013 when he pulled up to her at a bus stop in Washington, D.C. and asked her if she wanted to model. Sometime later, the 17-year-old went to Barnhill’s residence. He brought her into his bedroom, where he took multiple photographs of her, clothed and unclothed. After taking the photos, Barnhill asked the 17-year-old to perform oral sex on him. While she performed oral sex, Barnhill held his cellular phone and video-recorded the session. That video was recovered from a cell phone seized from the defendant’s residence pursuant to a search warrant.
Barnhill has been in custody since his arrest in December 2013.
This case was brought as part of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood initiative and investigated by the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force, which includes members of the FBI’s Washington Field Office and MPD. In February 2006, the Attorney General created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen, Assistant Director in Charge McCabe and Chief Lanier commended the work of the MPD detectives and Special Agents of the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force. They also expressed appreciation for the efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorney Ari Redbord, who prosecuted the case.