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$3.65M settlement reached in LMPD Explorer case

The lawyer for the seven plaintiffs said the civil case was settled for $3.65 million dollars which will be divided among the plaintiffs.

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky — Four years after a civil suit was first filed, the seven former youths who claimed they were abused by LMPD officers while in the Explorer program have reached a settlement.

Tad Thomas, the lawyer for the seven plaintiffs says the civil case was settled for $3.65 million that will be divided among the plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs who made the claims were identified in the suit only by their initials. Claims against officers include sexual assault and stalking and harassment. The lawsuits also claimed the police department covered up the abuse.

"Going through litigation is extremely difficult because it keeps bringing up what they had gone through," said Thomas

The Explorer Program was a program associated with the Louisville Metro Department of Police and Boy Scouts of America. It exposed young people to careers in law enforcement. 

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

It started in 2015 when two members of the program accused two former LMPD officers, Kenneth Betts and Brandon Wood of sexual abuse. A third officer, Brad Schuhmann pleaded guilty to charges stemming from an incident in 2010. 

Betts, Wood, and Schuhmann were named in the suit, all were convicted of sex-related crimes in federal court. 

Thomas said the plaintiffs chose to settle because they were facing an "uphill battle" against the statute of limitations and Boy Scouts of America filing bankruptcy. 

Mayor Greg Fischer suspended the Explorer program in 2017. In a statement today he said, "Since the beginning of the Explorers case, my ultimate goal has been to find the truth and get justice for the victims, It's our hope that this settlement brings some closure for those involved. We must continue our work to ensure the appalling interactions that led to this investigation never happen again."

$3,650,000 will be paid to seven plaintiffs, with more than $3 million of that amount coming from Old Republic Insurance Company, the insurer for the Boy Scouts of America. The remainder will be paid by Metro’s self-insurance under the Louisville Area Governmental Self Insurance Trust.

LMPD did not respond to WHAS11's request for comment. 

RELATED | Former LMPD officer accuses the department of retaliation for reporting sex abuse in Explorer program

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