(Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

A federal judge on Friday sentenced a former D.C. police officer and pastor to 18 years in prison for sexually abusing two teenage girls who attended his Southeast Washington church.

Darrell Best, 46, a 25-year D.C. police department veteran, pleaded guilty in October to one count of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor, one count of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor and one count of production of child pornography after he photographed one of the girls.

U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton handed down the sentence. Best admitted to separately abusing the girls, ages 16 and 17: one at his office at D.C. police headquarters and the other at his God-A Second Chance Ministry Church. One teen’s parents alerted police after the girl was confronted by Best’s fiancee, who found pictures of one of the victims on the officer’s phone, according to charging documents.

“I am hopeful the sentencing today provides some measure of comfort for these victims and their families,” D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier said in a statement released with U.S. Attorney for the District Channing Phillips. “Mr. Best used the trust he had built within the community, as a pastor and a police officer, to take advantage of those who relied on him.”

D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier. (Photo by Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post) (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)