LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Louisville Metro Police Department is named in a lawsuit in federal court asking for up to $6 million in damages for their role in the sexual abuse of minors. The lawsuit names several officers, including Kenneth Betts and Brandon Wood, who have already been convicted and sentenced on state charges.
The case is filed against eight officers in total, including Curtis Flaherty, a former LMPD Major who was promoted after the allegations surfaced. He was also the head of LMPD’s Explorer program.
The other names listed include Julie Schmidt, Matthew Gelhausen, and Bradley Schuhmann, who is alleged to have sexually abused a female Explorer in his car and sent her sexually explicit pictures.
The convictions came as part of the investigation into the abuse of children in the LMPD Explorer Program, and the federal lawsuit is on the behalf of seven victims.
In a virtual meeting Tuesday, attorneys from both sides discussed where the case stood. Tad Thomas, an attorney for the victims, said they still have a lot of work to do. He said they’ve been met with a number of setbacks, especially due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Thomas said they still have hundreds of thousands of documents they’ve yet to receive as part of discovery, and they’re behind in depositions. They haven’t been able to finish deposing Brandon Wood and Kenneth Betts because of COVID-19 outbreaks in the prisons where the two are serving their sentences.
Thomas also talked about several phones and iPads that could potentially contain child pornography that is currently in possession of LMPD investigators. LMPD’s attorney Jeff Phillips said they’re working with the FBI to figure out what they can do with them.
At this rate, attorneys for both sides of the lawsuit don’t believe they’ll be able to get everything done by the given date next summer.
Judge Colin Lindsay agreed to move back the deadline for discovery back 90 days.
There is still an ongoing FBI investigation into this case.
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