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D.C. Police Officer Charged With Sexually Abusing Child

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A veteran D.C. police officer has been arrested and charged with sexually abusing a girl who sang in his church choir.

Wendel Palmer, who joined the department in 1990 and had been assigned to its Sixth District, was arrested earlier today on a charge of first-degree sexual abuse. The abuse was reported last March by the accuser's mother and occurred between 2004 and 2006, when the girl was between 11 and 13 years old, police say.

Palmer was the choir director at the church where the girl and her family were members, according to police. The girl alleged that much of the abuse occurred at the church during rehearsal break. According to the arrest warrant affidavit, Palmer's family runs the church. 

The accuser picked out Palmer's picture from a photo array of nine D.C. police officers in March, according to police. Palmer has been placed on paid leave pending the outcome of the criminal case.

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