A Chicago cop admitted he paid for sex last summer with a girl who had braces on her teeth and took pictures of her in her underwear, federal prosecutors claim.
Now Officer William “Willie” Whitley, 60, faces at least a decade in prison if convicted of sex trafficking of a minor. The feds say two teens claimed to have sex for money with Whitley five times each. One girl said Whitley paid her while she rode around in Whitley’s car with his “partner.” The other said she once had sex with Whitley shortly before he said he needed to leave for work.
The feds also charged Whitley with production of child pornography, a charge that carries a minimum of 15 years in prison.
Whitley is being held in federal custody pending a detention hearing Monday. He was arrested Tuesday and appeared in court briefly Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Maria Valdez.
The feds say a 2015 FBI investigation into the sex trafficking of a teenage girl led them to Whitley. After she was arrested in a September 2015 sting, the girl told authorities about her “johns,” including Whitley. She said she was introduced to Whitley in June 2015 and had sex with him about five times, collecting between $60 and $150 from him each time.
At the time, the girl was 14, but she told Whitley she was 23. According to a criminal complaint, the girl said Whitley kept his CPD uniform hanging on his bedroom door, kept a gun under the pillow even while they were having sex, and wore a gold chain with the CPD logo on it. At times, Whitley even bragged about being a police officer, she said.
The feds say Whitley was in touch with the girl by phone “hundreds of times” between July 24, 2015 and Sept. 17, 2015. On Sept. 17, 2015, Whitley began texting the girl. When she replied, “Awww ok wassup then,” he replied, “You already know” and added, “B4 I gotta work.”
The girl also said Whitley took naked photographs of her inside his apartment.
The 14-year-old girl led authorities to a 16-year-old girl who also said she had sex with Whitley for money. She said Whitley pulled up next to her and a friend once in Englewood and asked if they wanted to take a ride with him and “his partner.” They agreed, though the girl said she suspected Whitley might be a cop based on the way he spoke.
The 16-year-old girl said Whitley was in the driver’s seat, and the partner was in the passenger seat. That’s when she said Whitley gave the girl $65 “in exchange for giving him oral sex.” She said she had oral sex with Whitley five times, each time collecting $60 to $65 from him.
Whitley’s “partner” was not named in the criminal complaint.
“The federal allegations against the officer are extremely serious and if proven, are an egregious violation of the trust we place in our police officers,” CPD spokesman Frank Giancamilli said in a statement. “Upon learning of the investigation, the officer was immediately relieved of his police powers pending the court’s actions. CPD continues to cooperate fully with our federal partners in this case.”
Giancamilli said Whitley had been assigned to the city’s 2nd District before he was stripped of his powers in September 2015. He is a 26-year veteran of the force.
The feds say Whitley acknowledged having sex for money once with the 14-year-old girl. He said he didn’t know her age, but he recalled seeing braces on her teeth. He also said he took photographs of her in her underwear. But they said he denied knowing the 16-year-old girl. Authorities say they searched Whitley’s Samsung Galaxy tablet and found the 14-year- old girl’s nickname with the letters “Fre” before it.
Several other numbers were marked the same way, and text messages with those contacts appeared to be “consistent with prostitution.”
Whitley is the second Chicago police officer to charged with a crime in federal court this week. On Tuesday, Chicago Police Officer Ronald Coleman was released without having to post bond after he was charged with tipping off a longtime acquaintance about a DEA drug raid.