A D.C. police officer has been arrested and charged with having sex with an underage girl he met in a church choir.
Wendel Palmer, a patrol officer in the Sixth District, turned himself on Wednesday. A court affidavit filed with a search warrant says a woman came forward last March to say Palmer began sexually assaulting her when she was 11 years old.
The affidavit says the abuse began in 2004 when Palmer was the director of the youth choir at Bethuel Temple Church of Christ Apostolic Inc. -- a Southeast Washington church where the girl was a member of the choir.
The woman told investigators Palmer abused her for two years inside the church and in other places in and around the District.
The day after Christmas, D.C. Police searched the church on Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue in Southeast where investigators took photos and diagramed the premises.
The affidavit says from 2004 to 2006, the choir director would sexually assault the girl during rehearsal breaks after sending the other children to the store.
At the time, the alleged victim says she was 11 years old.
The woman told detectives the abuse began when she was in the sixth grade and continued until she was 13 years old.
Officer Palmer is 44 years old.
Until recently, law enforcement sources say Palmer was a patrol officer in the Sixth District located east of the Anacostia River.
His police powers were revoked some time ago, but it's unclear exactly when.
The churches website does not currently list any information about a youth choir or name Wendel Palmer as its director.
Based on the affidavit, it appears the woman making the claim against the officer is either 19 or 20 years old.
Palmer is facing one count of first-degree child abuse. Law enforcement sources say the investigation is ongoing.
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