D.C. officer charged with producing child pornography to be released pending trial

December 9, 2013

A District police officer charged last week with producing child pornography has been cleared to be released from jail pending his trial, according to documents filed in federal court on Monday. A previous court hearing indicated he would live with his father in southern Maryland.

A federal court judge ordered Officer Marc L. Washington, 32, to be placed into the high intensity supervision program, put on electronic monitoring and ordered to keep a 24-hour curfew for the first 21 days.

The judge also ordered that Washington stay away from all minors other than those in his immediate family with “no movement for work or school.” After three weeks, Washington will be under less intensive supervision, according to the documents, that includes a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew. It was not known precisely when Washington would be freed.

Washington was arrested last week after police said he had responded to a house in Southeast Washington after a mother called to say her missing 15-year-old daughter had returned safely. Washington told the mother he had to investigate and took the girl into her room, closed the door and took pictures of her in varying states of undress, according to the criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court.

Federal prosecutors argued that Washington posed a danger to the community because he allegedly abused his power while armed and on duty. But the judge indicated on Friday that he would release Washington with strict conditions, and only after his father has surrendered the deed to his home in Waldorf.

Scott Lucas, an attorney with the Cochran Firm who has been hired by the girl’s family, said he believed detention would have been appropriate. “I don’t know why you’d release a man charged with abusing his authority this way,” Lucas said.

Washington’s attorney, Michelle Peterson, could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon. The officer has been suspended from duty.

Also last week, D.C. police searched the apartment of an officer who authorities in court documents linked to a prostitution ring. That came after police said they found a 16-year-old girl who had been reported missing at the officer’s residence in Southeast Washington. The officer has not been arrested or charged with a crime, though police said their investigation is continuing.

Both officers had been assigned to the 7th District in Southeast Washington. But D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier said on Friday that authorities do not believe the two cases are linked. She did say that the allegations have “tarnished us all” on the District’s police force.

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