LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) — LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Former LMPD officer Kenneth Betts, one of two former officers with the department's Youth Explorer program charged with sexually abusing teens during their time in the program, is now facing federal charges.
His attorney entered a not guilty plea at his detention hearing on Wednesday.
U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman announced in a news conference Wednesday afternoon that a federal grand jury based in Louisville returned a seven-count indictment against Betts: 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.
Betts will remain in custody through Wednesday night until his house is assessed for home incarceration.
Judge Colin Lindsay prohibited Betts from being in possession of any guns, or devices that connects to the internet, including computers, smart phones and even game consoles.
“There's nothing pleasing about it, we're in district court, he's been charged with some serious offenses, but we're certainly very pleased the judge is going to allow him to be at home,” Betts’ attorney, Brian Butler told WHAS11 News.
Prosecutors fought for retainment at his detention hearing Wednesday evening, even citing a plea from at least two alleged victims that he remain behind bars until his trial. They argued he was a danger and refused to comment to WHAS11 News after the hearing.
The judge ordered he not have any contact with the accusers.
“That is never going to happen. He's not going to have any contact with anyone that is alleged to be a victim, this case has been going on as you all know for a lengthy period of time, that state has provided much discovery, many, many names, obviously Kenny has not contacted any of those people and that's not going to happen,” Butler explained.
According to Coleman, Betts turned himself into federal custody Wednesday morning, Nov. 7. A district court judge recommended Betts be released on home incarceration on a $25,000 bond.
"The penalty range for these counts for a mandatory minimum on the low end up to 20 years in federal prison and up to a lifetime of supervised release," Coleman said. "It is a sad day for law enforcement because of the underlying changes but it's also a sad day because of the impact on this particular organization."
Betts, along with former Officer Brandon Wood, another former officer working with the Explorer program, faces multiple counts of sex abuse and sodomy in circuit court. Coleman did not mention Wood's involvement in the news conference but said federal officers are continuing their investigation into the Explorer Program.
"Those are the types of cases this office will continue to work," Coleman said. "It's the type of cases we look for in this district because we have the ability to bring significant periods of time in federal prison with no parole."
Despite the indictment, Coleman said investigators are still looking for more witnesses and victims.
"We're looking all over the country," he said. "And if somebody is watching this and we're able to stream this out, and the impact of this announcement triggers a recollection or triggers a victim's degree of awareness of what we're doing, we welcome that, and we encourage them to contact the FBI or the LMPD."