Teen alleges former LMPD officer sent her inappropriate photos

Mayor Fischer appoints special investigator in explorer case

LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) -- A source close to the investigation into the metro police youth explorer program tells WHAS11 News that a 16-year-old girl alleges an LMPD officer sent her inappropriate photos through text messaging.

As we first reported in October, the now former officer Kenneth Betts was investigated in 2013 for improper contact with a female explorer, according to a memo.  And now, the mayor is taking action.

“What I just want to guarantee the public on this, we will be as open and transparent as we can be throughout this,” said Mayor Greg Fischer.

Twenty-four hours after Metro Council members requested an independent investigation into the sexual abuse allegation against Louisville Metro Police Department's Youth Explorer Program, the mayor posted a video statement on his official Facebook page.

“As you know transparency has always been first and foremost to be and I will continue to report back to you as this case develops,” Mayor Fischer said.

The special investigator Mayor Fischer chose for the job:  Kerry Harvey.  He was the U.S. Attorney in Lexington. Harvey prosecuted former Kentucky agriculture commissioner and UK basketball star Richie Farmer. Farmer spent 27 months in prison for spending public money on himself.

“He understands local law, state law, and has an impeccable reputation,” Mayor Fischer said.

In the mayor's statement, he says that a separate inquiry will look into all the city programs that work with kids and teens. Fischer says he wants to make sure adequate steps are being taken to protect kids.  It's a decision that pleases some members of the council.

“It could be quite a bill for the city but I think that protecting our children is our number one responsibility and I can't really put a price on protecting our children,” said Councilman David James

Former U.S. Attorney Harvey will investigate the police department and the Youth Explorer Program.  The mayor will hire an outside national agency to review the other youth programs.  But Fischer says he believes they are operating safely.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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