Yates responds to county attorney's 'concerns'

Lawsuit alleges sex abuse in Explorer Program

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- “I will not be intimidated by any power. I will not be shunned or intimidated into backing off of something that I think is right,” said David Yates, attorney.

Yates has filed a sealed lawsuit suing a current Louisville Metro Police officer, a former officer and their superior.  He says his client claims he was sexually abused by the officers and accuses their major of trying to cover it up.  Yates says the alleged abuse happened while his client was a member of the department's Youth Explorer program which is a program for kids who want to learn about policing.

“At the end of the day, I have a young man that has been sexually abused that has not seen justice, and he deserves that,” Yates said.
           
Jefferson County Attorney Mike O'Connell represents the city in pending litigation.  He sent a statement saying in part, "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."         

Yates says he has hired an ethics attorney.

“I do not have an ethics violation. I do have a moral obligation to help this young man,” he said.

In October, sources connected LMPD Officer Brandon Wood to an investigation involving the Youth Explorer program.  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.            

Records show that former officer Kenneth Betts was under investigation for improper contact with a female explorer in 2013, but the investigation was closed because Betts resigned from the department.

“I do know that I have a young man who participated in a program who was abused and that no one has heard about and it has been covered up.  And I intend to use every power I have to expose it and to fix it,” Yates said.

We did speak to the attorneys who represent Officer Wood and former Officer Betts.  Wood's attorney says his client maintains his innocence.  Betts attorney had no comment.

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