A D.C. police officer and pastor accused of sexually assaulting two teenagers has a history of sexual misconduct involving women, including improperly touching a female cadet at the police academy, a prosecutor said in court Thursday.
Prosecutors mentioned the incidents as they successfully sought to persuade a D.C. Superior Court judge to order that Darrell Lavon Best, 45, continue to be held without bond. Best also waived his right to a preliminary hearing.
Best, who has been on the police force for 25 years, is accused of assaulting two teenagers — a 17-year-old inside police headquarters on Indiana Avenue NW and a 16-year-old inside his church in Southeast Washington — while wearing his badge and gun. He is charged with first- and second-degree sexual abuse of a minor, first-degree sexual abuse while armed and third-degree sexual abuse with force.
During the short court appearance, Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah McClellan said reports had come in suggesting that there could be additional victims.
McClellan detailed two incidents that she termed “sexual misconduct.”
She said that in 2007 the officer inappropriately touched and kissed a 20-year-old female cadet he was overseeing at the police academy. A year later, the prosecutor said, he made comments to another female employee about taking her to a hotel room for a massage. McClellan said at least one of those incidents resulted in a demotion.
“This shows a pattern of repeated behavior,” she said. “He is uniquely dangerous to the females in this community, particularly young females in this community subject to the strong authority he has not only as a police officer but as a pastor.”
Best, who lives in Upper Marlboro, Md., is pastor of God-A Second Chance Ministry Church, where both teens were members.
Best’s attorney, Elliott Queen, said that his client is on administrative leave from the police department and that he has taken a sabbatical from his duties as a pastor.
Judge Jennifer Anderson denied a request to release Best or to place him on house arrest, citing the four counts against him and two separate victims, along with the prior incidents mentioned by the prosecution.
The next hearing in the case is scheduled for April 29.