By Micha Green, AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org
A former D.C. police officer pled guilty to two counts of sex trafficking of minors and now faces a minimum of 10 years and maximum of 20 years in prison.
Chukwuemeka Ekwonna, 29, of Glenn Dale admitted to paying two different teenagers to perform sexual acts for him in the Annapolis area.
Ekwonna used the social dating app “Tagged,” which he had been using since 2010, in order to message girls.
The former D.C. police was charged in April 2017 for soliciting sex from a 15-year-old and then robbing her at gunpoint when he did not get his way. He messaged her on Tagged and the two met at the Quarterfield Cross Apartments in Glen Burnie, where she performed sexual acts for him for an $80 fee in the back of his car. Yet, when she tried to leave, Ekwonna pulled out his handgun and ordered her to return his money, according to the Capital Gazette.
In addition to the instance with the 15-year-old, the U.S. Attorney’s Office released a report that Ekwonna also paid for sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old in Annapolis from at least October 2016 through February 2017. The U.S. Attorney’s Office reported that Ekwonna usually paid $30 or $40 for the girl to have sex with him at different locations, including motel rooms and his vehicle.
Having served with the Metropolitan Department beginning around January 2016, Ekwonna was actively a police officer at the time of his solicitation of minors, and was even said to have posted pictures on his Tagged account in uniform.
“Police officers are sworn to protect our communities, not prey on our youth,” U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur said. “We will continue to work with our partners to bring traffickers to justice and protect our most vulnerable.”
Both teenage girls were in ninth grade at the time of solicitation and intercourse with Ekwonna.
In addition to prison time, Ekwonna must also register as a sex offender. He is scheduled for sentencing on May 10 at noon with U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake.
According to the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force (MHTTF), the state of Maryland tends to be a unique “hot spot” for human trafficking. MHTTF reported that federal law enforcement partners has identified 200 victims of trafficking since and arrested 94 traffickers since January 2013.