Former police officer pleads guilty to sex trafficking minors in Annapolis, Glen Burnie
A former Washington D.C. police officer pleaded guilty to two counts of sex trafficking of a minor as he admitted to paying two teenagers for sex in the Annapolis area for several months.Chukwuemeka Ekwonna, 29, of Glenn Dale, faces up to 20 years in prison on the two charges and will be required to register as a sex offender, the U.S. Attorney’s Office wrote in a release.
Ekwonna was charged in April 2017 with soliciting sex from a 15-year-old girl in Glen Burnie and then robbing her at gunpoint.
Anne Arundel police said Ekwonna messaged the girl on the “Tagged” social media application and the two met in the Quarterfield Cross Apartments.
The teenager performed sexual acts in exchange for money, police said, and as she tried to leave, Ekwonna pulled out a handgun and demanded his money back.
Federal prosecutors wrote that Ekwonna also paid for sex with a 14-year-old girl numerous times, commonly meeting in the Annapolis area.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office wrote that between Oct. 18, 2016 and Feb. 15, 2017, Ekwonna met with the girl in motel rooms and in his vehicle. Text messages between the two “suggest that she was aware that Ekwonna was a police officer.”
In the plea agreement, Ekwonna admitted to posting pictures to “Tagged” where he was wearing a Metropolitan Police Department uniform in the driver’s seat of a police car.
The Associated Press reported he had been with the Metropolitan Police Department for 14 months and had his police power revoked.
In total, Ekwonna admitted to posting about 53,000 messages with “thousands of other Tagged users” between June 1, 2011 and April 6, 2017, the plea agreement reads.
The former officer “used his Tagged account to send messages to many other users offering to pay them to engage in specific sex acts with him and to negotiate over the pries he would pay for sex,” the plea agreement reads.
In a statement, the attorney’s office thanked federal and local law enforcement in securing the plea, including Anne Arundel Police Chief Timothy Altomare and recently elected State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess.
“Police officers are sworn to protect our communities, not prey on our youth,” U.S. Attorney Robert Hur wrote in a statement.
Ekwonna and his father, Harrison, were accused in a federal lawsuit of beating an inmate who had already voluntarily submitted while the two were corrections officers at a Washington D.C. jail.
The plaintiff settled the lawsuit with the District of Columbia. Details of the settlement were not immediately clear.