Kenneth Betts, former LMPD officer, pleads guilty to federal sex charges

Kenneth Betts, former LMPD officer, pleads guilty to federal sex charges
Former LMPD officer Kenneth Betts pleaded guilty to federal charges related to the department’s Youth Explorer Program child sex abuse scandal.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A former Louisville Metro Police Department officer pleaded guilty to charges related to the department’s Youth Explorer Program child sex abuse scandal.

Betts pleaded guilty to federal charges of enticement, attempted enticement, possession of child pornography, transfer of obscene materials to a minor and distribution of child pornography, United States Attorney Russell M. Coleman announced Thursday.

Already facing state charges of sodomy, Betts was indicted on seven counts by a federal grand jury last month.

Several alleged victims claimed they were sexually abused by Betts and another former officer, Brandon Wood, in the LMPD’s Explorer program, which is aimed at recruiting teenagers considering careers in law enforcement.

“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 in a statement. “The Federal Bureau of Prisons awaits the outcome of his sentencing.”

Betts originally pleaded not guilty, but changed his plea to guilty in exchange for a deal for 10 to 15 years in prison.

His attorney said he was “taking responsibility for his actions.”

The exact amount of time he will spend in prison is now up to a judge. The judge could reject the offer of 10 to 15 years, in which case Betts would head back to court.

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Betts faces a maximum of life in prison. His charges also carry a maximum potential fine of $1,750,000. Betts' formal sentencing date has been set for March 18.

A judge allowed Betts to live at his mother’s house on home incarceration after he was indicted by a grand jury, but in mid-November, he was found to be in violation of his home incarceration stipulations. He was taken back into custody at that time and is being held in the Oldham County Jail.

A spokeswoman for Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer released the following statement:

“The Mayor has said all along that the most important thing is to see justice for the victims. While other cases are ongoing, a guilty plea is an important first step.”

Wood is scheduled to stand trial next year.

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