Judge unseals lawsuit alleging sex abuse in LMPD's Explorer program

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – A Louisville judge has unsealed a lawsuit accusing a current and former Louisville Metro Police Department officer of raping a teenage cadet in the department’s Explorer program.

Jefferson Circuit Judge Judith McDonald-Burkman unsealed the bombshell lawsuit Monday afternoon, opening it to the public.

The plaintiff, identified only as N.C., claims LMPD Officer Brandon Wood and former Officer Kenneth Betts sexually abused him, from 2011 to 2013, while he was a cadet in LMPD's Explorer program. 

The complaint alleges the officers recorded the abuse and may have even shared it with other people. 

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The lawsuit claims Wood and Betts covered their tracks by deleting phone records, video files and other evidence. It alleges the abuse happened at the officers’ homes, and in vehicles, among other places.                                 

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer suspended the Explorer program in March, in response to the lawsuit. Late Monday afternoon, he commended the judge’s decision to unseal the lawsuit.

“We want to make sure that people understand what's in that case so that we can move through this with transparency and make sure we have accountability as well,” Fischer said.

The mayor is working with Metro Council to hire former U.S. Attorney Kerry Harvey to investigate LMPD’s handling of the incident.

The lawsuit claims LMPD knew about, or should have known about, the sexual abuse but failed to take the appropriate steps to protect the plaintiff or other victims from “known risks.” It also claims Boy Scouts of America and the Lincoln Heritage Council hid their knowledge of Betts’ and Wood’s “sexual predator propensities.”

LMPD moved Officer Woods to administrative assignment in October. Betts resigned amid an investigation launched in 2013 that claimed he had “improper contact” with a girl in the Explorer program.