Whas11 news reported that a lawsuit was filed Wednesday, and includes sex abuse allegations involving the Louisville Metro Police Youth Explorer Program, according to an attorney for the plaintiff, Metro Council President David Yates.
Yates told Whas11 that the lawsuit had been filed Wednesday, but it has been sealed. According to Yates, the lawsuit alleges sex abuse by one former and one current LMPD officer involved in the Youth Explorer Program.
According to Neonnettle, the FBI was ordered to investigate a “child sex trafficking ring” operating within the Louisville Police Department. It was reported by Neonnettle that many officers are suspected of rape, being in possession of child pornography, and human trafficking through a government-funded youth program. They even go further, by saying Louisville Mayor, Greg Fischer, described the alleged sexual abuse of children in the police department’s Youth Explorer program as “our worst nightmare”. Fischer also revealed that former U.S. Attorney Kerry Harvey has been called in to review the investigation of the Louisville Metro Police to determine whether “errors were made”. This investigation includes police Chief, Steve Conrad.
According to Neonnettle, a lawsuit was filed last week on behalf of a former Boy Scout, identified as N.C. charges. That lawsuit alleges the rapes by Officers Kenneth Betts and Brandon Wood were “concealed” by department officials. Officers Betts and Wood are accused of sexually assaulting the former Scout from 2011, through 2013, and alleges they recorded the incidents to make porn.
Last fall, Officer Brandon Wood was connected to to an investigation involving the Youth Explorer program, which is designed to help teens interested in law enforcement. In a Facebook post on October 13, 2016, Metro Police said that its Public Integrity Unit was looking into an officer’s behavior surrounding the program. Officer Wood was placed on administrative leave at that time, according to Whas11.
Records show that former officer, Kenneth Betts, was also under investigation for improper contact with a female explorer in 2013, but the investigation was closed because Betts resigned from the department.
The Courier-Journal reported this week that Chief Conrad ended an investigation of alleged “improper contact” between Betts and a teenage girl in the program because Betts resigned in 2014, according to Neonnettle. Conrad told the Courier-Journal on Friday he is “dying” to talk about the allegations but is barred from doing so by a court order sealing the lawsuit. Fischer said he expects the case will be unsealed next week. The Courier-Journal has filed a motion to unseal the case. The city has also asked that it be unsealed.
This new lawsuit also alleges a cover up by an LMPD Major, according to Yates. Mayor Fischer made the following statement regarding whether or not there was any evidence of a cover-up of child sex abuse by the police department saying; “If there has been an injustice, it will be remedied.”
Each officer currently has an attorney representing them. Officer Brandon Wood’s attorney says his client maintains his innocence, while attorney Brian Butler, who represents Kenneth Betts, said he has no comment at this time, according to Whas11.
Jefferson County Attorney, Mike O’Connell, released a statement Thursday afternoon saying:
“As the legal representative for Louisville Metro Government, my office took service of a complaint late Thursday that involved allegations regarding the Louisville Metro Police Department’s Explorers program. The case is under seal by the Court and we have not fully reviewed the complaint, but the allegations are very serious and deserve the most thorough of investigations.
“Recognizing the seriousness of the allegations, I do have concerns about a possible conflict of interest where Mr. Yates, an elected public officer, is suing the government in which he serves, and for which he may have a financial interest in the outcome of the lawsuit.”