LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) — Kenneth Betts, one of two former LMPD officers accused in the Explorer program sex abuse scandal, pleaded guilty to seven federal charges, US Attorney Russell Coleman said.

The Shelbyville native pleaded guilty to three counts of enticement, one count of attempted enticement, one count of possession of child pornography, one count of distribution of child pornography and one count of transferring prohibited materials to an underage individual.

“This defendant dishonored the proud badge and uniform of Louisville’s Finest with his perversion and used it to prey on our young people,” Coleman said. “The Federal Bureau of Prisons awaits the outcome of his sentencing.”

Betts was previously placed on house arrest after the charges were announced, but was taken back to jail after violating the conditions of HIP by allegedly communicating with others via Snapchat and E-mail.

Both Betts and Brandon Wood, the other officer charged in the Explorer program scandal, face charges in Jefferson County Circuit Court as well. The two allegedly sexually abused several Explorer program participants during their time with the program.

According to court documents, Betts communicated with a minor he met through the LMPD Explorers Program on the internet between May 2010 and May 2014. Betts persuaded, induced and enticed the minor to engage in sexual activity and share explicit images.

Betts quit in 2014 over accusations by a girl in the program who said the officer sent her inappropriate text messages when she was 16. Betts asked the girl to meet for sexual activity and send explicit photos. He also had interaction with a different minor at the same time, requesting explicit photos and attempting to coerce the minor into sexual activity.

The scandal resulted in the termination of the Explorer Program on March 13, 2017. Betts faces no less than 10 years in prison, with a maximum potential sentence of life in prison. His sentencing has been scheduled for March 18, 2019.


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- Internal investigation file: officers used sex, social media to exploit youth explorers

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

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- Former LMPD officer facing federal charges, will be released on HIP