MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A former Memphis police officer was sentenced Tuesday to one year and a day in prison for driving a woman to a party at a north Mississippi hotel so she could have sex for money.
During the hearing in a Memphis federal courtroom, U.S. District Judge S. Thomas Anderson also sentenced Sean McWhirter to five years of probation.
McWhirter pleaded guilty in October to transporting a person across state lines for prostitution, a violation of the Mann Act. He must register as a sex offender and is permanently barred from working in law enforcement.
The FBI said McWhirter accepted payment for driving a woman to a casino-hotel in Tunica, Miss., while he was in uniform and in his police car at a parking lot in Memphis. McWhirter acknowledged driving the woman to the hotel to engage in sex acts at a party in September 2012. McWhirter was arrested at the hotel.
According to court documents, a confidential informant told the FBI that he recorded McWhirter having sex in a nightclub with a woman in November 2011. McWhirter also announced at a nightclub that three women belonged to him and they were available to club patrons, the documents say. And, phone records showed McWhirter had been in daily contact with women who advertised prostitution services on backpage.com.
He resigned from the Memphis Police Department after about five years with the force.
McWhirter had faced up to 10 years in prison but received a much shorter sentence Tuesday partly because he acknowledged guilt and had no prior criminal record. He apologized to the judge and his family for his actions.