At least 13 District police officers, including a captain, two lieutenants and three sergeants, are under investigation for participating in a party at a downtown Holiday Inn last June at which prostitutes were paid to perform sexual acts.
The two prostitutes, who frequent the 14th street prostitution and pornography corridor, were paid for their night's activities out of a collection to which the police officers had contributed to defray the party's costs.
The police department's internal affairs division began an investigation of the party late last week after receiving an anonymous letter.
Investigators from the division have interviewed several of the police officers who attended the party. All are from the 3rd police district, which also is responsible for patrolling the 14th Street corridor.
At least three of the police officers have told investigators that they had engaged in sexual acts with the prostitutes, according to sources. None of the officers has been charged, and all remain on duty while the investigation continues.
Earlier this week, the U.S. attorney's office was consulted about the police investigation and suggested that the department continue its investigation.
The party was held on June 15 in a room of the Holiday Inn at 17th Street and Rhode Island Avenue NW to celebrate the upcoming marriage of one of the sergeants.
Throughout the evening, several officers, all off-duty, arrived at the room for food and drink. The liquor and food had been purchased through donations from the officers.
As the party continued into the early morning, the two prostitutes performed sexual acts with various participants as others watched.
Several guests reportedly found the presence of the prostitutes offensive and left.
The party became boisterous as the officers drank more and more liquor, according to investigators. One participant reportedly was swinging from a light fixture at one point.
The prostitutes left after being paid what was described by one official as "bargain basement prices."
Investigators of the internal affairs division have unsuccessfully canvassed 14th Street in search of the prostitutes.
According to a police official, the participants in the party could be subject to criminal as well as disciplinary charges. Criminal charges could include soliciting for lewd and immoral purposes, a misdemeanor.
Several party participants refused to comment yesterday on the incident.
Deputy Police Chief William Dixon of the 3rd District said yesterday he is very concerned about the incident, but he declined other comment because of the investigation.
One police officer who said he did not attend the party said reports about it have been circulating throughout the 3rd District station, at 1620 V St. NW.
According to several officers in the 3rd District, the bachelor party was given by officers and officials who work in Section A, one of the station's three sections.