LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Former Louisville Metro Police Officer Pablo Cano was sentenced to five years in prison after being accused of rape.
Multiple women accused Cano of forcing them to have sex, some times while he was in uniform, armed and on duty.
Cano and his victims agreed on a plea deal that allowed him to plead guilty to lesser charges and avoid a trial.
His victims, in turn, avoided having to testify.
“I would have testified, gotten up there if that’s what it took,” Heather Richards said. “But I’m thrilled that I don’t have to.”
Richards was known as “Jane Doe No. 1” when she became the first of Cano’s victims to come forward in 2017.
In all, five women were listed in the criminal complaint.
Cano pleaded guilty to five counts of sexual misconduct, a misdemeanor. He also pleaded guilty to one count of possessing material portraying the sexual performance of a minor.
“I am thrilled that he’s actually going to do some time,” Richards said.
Richards and four other women also have filed a civil suit naming Cano and the city as responsible parties.
An attorney for the women, Shannon Fauver, said they are hoping Cano’s admission of guilt bolsters their attempt to reach a settlement.
“I am glad that we reached the outcome so that he could plead and go straight into custody, so that the women didn’t have to testify in a criminal trial,” Fauver said.
Hopefully they won’t have to testify in a civil trial because that’s up to the city. If the city does not settle, they’re going to have to testify anyway."
Cano was sentenced to five years in prison but could be eligible for parole after he completes a sex offender treatment program.
He then would serve five years on supervised probation. Cano also would be required to register as a sex offender.
“Mr. Cano is relieved to have the criminal portion of this case behind him,” defense attorney Steve Schroering said.