LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Metro Council members were in executive session for hours looking through 90 pages of a report that could reveal any cover-up of the sexual abuse allegations in connection with LMPD’s former Youth Explorer Program. They have voted to release the redacted version of the report to the public.
While in closed session, they read the report line by line, redacting information that could expose the victims or information that could harm criminal prosecutions.
The council also approved releasing limited attorney-client privilege related to the redacted report.
The report begins in the summer of 2013, when an underage female Explorer first alerted LMPD about inappropriate phone calls and text messages she received from Officer Kenneth Betts.
She denied any sexual relationship with him, but the report shows Betts' and Woods' pattern of behavior involving other underage male and female recruits.
The Explorer Program is for teenagers who want to be police officers.
The report concludes Officer Betts and Wood each acted alone. Several recruits say they felt pressured to perform sexual acts on the officers - some declined.
In 2013, LMPD concluded Betts' calls and texts with the female explorer didn't violate any laws. Then Assistant Chief for Administration Ozzie Gibson recommended Betts be fired because of the nature of the allegations.
But, Police Chief Steve Conrad allowed Betts to resign six months later for other unrelated issues.
Louisville Attorney Steve Romines calls that decision disturbing. "LMPD, the chief knew about these allegations in 2013, 2014 and closed the investigation- didn't go to public integrity to investigate. There really was no investigation done despite the fact that a high-ranking law enforcement official said we need to do a full-scale investigation and nothing really happened. It just got closed," he told WHAS11.
LMPD became aware of Brandon Woods' behavior in 2016. The report says Wood had sexual encounters with several recruits.
It also highlights some 'mistakes' that were made in investigating the two officers, including reaching a premature conclusion about Betts' actions with the female recruit, not recording her interview and destroying nude photos from her phone.
Council members told us they wouldn't allow their children to join the Youth Explorer Program.
"At this juncture, I don't know if the program would ever come back but even if it did, as a parent I think it just hits you in the gut when you read these kinds of allegations. So, no I would not send my baby," Councilwoman Jessica Green said.
"I have spoken to at least one Explorer that is not a part of the lawsuit and is not listed as a victim and they have told me great detail about things that have happened at some explorer outings that I would not feel comfortable with my children ever going to," Council President David James said.