A D.C. police officer and church pastor who has been charged with sexually assaulting two teenage girls was charged with an additional count of producing child pornography Tuesday after investigators found seven photos of one of the victims on the officer’s cellphone, according to court documents.
Darrell Best, 45, who has been on the D.C. police force for 25 years, was arrested in March and charged with sexually abusing two girls, ages 16 and 17, both of whom also attended God-A Second Chance Ministry Church in Southeast Washington, where Best served as pastor. The new charges will be filed in U.S. District Court.
The newest charging documents provided additional details in the sexual assault case. According to the child pornography charging documents, Best’s fiancée discovered the pictures on his phone, forwarded the pictures to her phone and then confronted the teen with the photos. The teen told Best’s fiancée that Best had been sexually abusing her. The teen then told her parents, who then alerted police. The photos, the teen told authorites, were taken inside Best’s church near his pastorial office.
The sexual assaults began as early as last December. According to the initial charging documents, Best, while wearing his police uniform, picked up one of the juveniles at the Archives Metro station in his police vehicle and took her to dinner. The girl told investigators that the dinner was supposed to be focused on a discussion of the teen’s future plans. Instead, she told authorities, Best began making sexual advances toward her, the documents state.The teen told Best that she wanted to go home, but instead of taking her home, Best allegedly took the teen to his office at D.C. police headquarters.
Inside his office, the teen told authorities, Best sexually assaulted her, the charging documents state. Afterward, he allegedly said: “Girl, fix your shirt. If one of the Chiefs see you coming out of my office like this, they’re going to think something was going on.”
In the second assault case, one of the victims said Best drove her to the church and while there, he took nude photos of her and then sexually assaulted her, according to authorities. The teen told authorities Best had his firearm, badge, handcuffs and baton at his side at the time. The girl told police that Best sexually assaulted her a second time, while she was at the church at choir practice and Best had called her into his office.
Best remains on suspension without pay, a police spokeswoman said Tuesday.
After the hearing, Best’s attorney, Nikki Lotze, said the child sex-abuse charges will now be folded into a child pornography case in U.S. District Court. “They are allegations. We look forward to conducting a thorough, independent investigation into them.”
Anderson ordered Best to remain in the D.C. jail until trial. Best has been ordered to be separated from other inmates, Lotze said. Best’s next hearing is scheduled for Tuesday in U.S. District Court.