A longtime Chicago cop has admitted to paying four girls as young as 14 for sex, sometimes leaving a gun under his pillow during the illicit encounters before heading to work, authorities said.
William Whitley — who was charged in a graphic federal criminal complaint in November 2016 — pleaded guilty Tuesday to a single count of sex trafficking of a minor. He also admitted he paid for sex with three other girls between the ages of 14 to 17 multiple times from 2012 through 2016, according to the Chicago Tribune.
He now faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and up to life behind bars.
Whitley usually got in touch with the 14-year-old girl via text, telling her to stop by his apartment for sexual encounters for about $60 to $150 per session before he went to work between June and September 2015, according to a plea agreement. The 27-year veteran would also keep a loaded gun beneath a pillow on his bed at times, federal authorities said.
The teen initially told Whitley she was 23 years old, but she was actually just 14 at the time and wore metal braces. Whitley eventually told the girl he was police officer and often wore a gold chain around his neck with a Chicago Police Department gold medallion, according to the criminal complaint.
During one exchange on Sept. 17, 2015, Whitley texted the girl to come to his apartment for sex “B4 I gotta work,” according to the complaint.
Whitley also took sexually explicit photos of the other underage girls while they were atop his leopard-print bedspread and kept their phone numbers stored in his phone under names like “Bunny” and “Mocha,” authorities said.
The feds began investigating in fall 2015 after an undercover cop posing as a potential customer contacted the 14-year-old girl via classified website Backpage, which was shut down last month after its operators were charged with promoting prostitution and money laundering. The girl agreed to cooperate with authorities after she was arrested in the Chicago sting.
She later told law enforcement officials she met Whitley at sex parties. The parties, the girl claimed, were arranged by a woman who hosted older men looking to pay to have sexual encounters with teen runaways, according to the criminal complaint.
Whitley, who worked as a patrol cop in the city’s Wentworth section, was stripped of his police powers and reassigned to desk duty in September 2015 due to the federal probe. Whitley was listed in police records as “inactive” late Tuesday, a police spokesman told the Tribune.
Whitley is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 4.