'A predator of the worst kind’: PIU investigation launched after sexual assault claims made against officer involved in death of Breonna Taylor

LMPD reports that investigators are looking into the sexual assault allegations against Det. Brett Hankison.
Updated: Jun. 10, 2020 at 11:28 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - One of the three officers under investigation in the death of Breonna Taylor is now also being investigated for sexual assault, according to LMPD.

A WAVE 3 Troubleshooter Investigation found Detective Brett Hankison never entered Breonna Taylor’s apartment, but fired through a window with the shades drawn. As that investigation reaches the FBI, Hankison is at the center of a completely different case.

Stories have been posted to social media of young women trying to make their way home from St. Matthews bars at night. They say Hankison approached them in uniform and in his marked car to offer them a safe ride home.

One woman claims Hankison rubbed her thigh, kissed her forehead, and called her baby while driving her home in his unit.

Another woman says he grabbed her while making sexual comments, trying to get her and her friend, who was said to be too drunk to even stand, into his car.

Yet another woman says Hankison took her phone and got her information. He then allegedly sent her sexually explicit videos and pictures of himself.

“A predator of the worst kind” is how one of the women describes the LMPD officer in a statement released by Sam Aguiar. Aguiar is one of the attorneys representing Breonna Taylor’s family.

The woman quoted above is one of the first women to post her story involving Hankison online, alleging he gave her a ride home, invited himself inside of her apartment and sexually assaulted her while she was unconscious.

Her statement says “he used his uniform to stalk women at local bars and sexually assault them” knowing “his badge would keep them quiet.”

She claims there are many women who have similar stories and they all blamed themselves for Hankison’s alleged actions who were too scared to report a police officer and unsure of how to go about it.

WAVE 3 News is still working to find out if the women have filed written reports with LMPD.

The allegations against Hankison have made their way to Gov. Andy Beshear’s desk.

“It’s important to take it seriously. We live in a world with a rape culture,” Beshear responded when asked about the allegations Monday. “If any of those individuals want to speak either to LMPD, KSP or investigators in the attorney general’s office, any of those law enforcement officers should listen and take it very seriously."

Hankison is said to work off duty as a security guard at some St. Matthews bars, according to an ongoing federal lawsuit against him. It accuses Hankison of being a “dirty cop” who harassed and planted drugs on a local business owner.

WAVE 3 News has reached out to an attorney representing Hankison but has yet to get a response.

During a press conference Wednesday morning, LMPD chief Robert Schroeder said a Public Integrity Unit investigation had been launched into Hankison’s actions. He said investigators are attempting to reach out the people who made allegations against Hankison.

“I would certainly encourage them, and any other person who thinks they may have been victimized to reach out to the Public Integrity Unit,” Schroeder said.

Anyone with information can call (502) 574-LMPD. Tips can be left anonymously.

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