Judge unseals LMPD Explorer sex abuse lawsuit

The 167 page lawsuit (Source: WAVE 3 News file photo)
The 167 page lawsuit (Source: WAVE 3 News file photo)
Published: Apr. 10, 2017 at 6:39 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 12, 2017 at 2:05 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Details about allegations of sex abuse against a current and former LMPD police officer have been made public.

Judge Judith McDonald-Burkman ruled to unseal the records Monday.

The alleged victim's attorney, David Yates, agreed the suit could be made public as long his client's name wasn't.

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The unsealed civil lawsuit alleges the abuse started in 2011, when the victim, identified only by his initials "N.C.," was 17 and continued for two more years. Under Kentucky law, he was below the age of consent for most of that time, because in the role as advisors to the LMPD Explorer Program, the accused were in a position of power over the victim.

The lawsuit said Officer Brandon Wood, and then-officer Kenneth Betts, sexually abused the victim in the homes and vehicles of the officers, and locations owned by the city and police department. It also said the victim was sexually molested, abused, raped and recorded, and then intimidated by the officers to keep quiet about it.

The lawsuit alleges the officers recorded, disseminated and stored sexually explicit material of the plaintiff, inducing sexual acts through electronic transmission. That could mean anything from text messages to email.

The officers are accused of destroying the evidence by deleting electronic media, phone records, messages audio and video files. The lawsuit also takes aim at the city and the police department, saying the officers' supervisor, Major Curtis Flaherty knew, or should have known, what was happening, and that he should have done more to report it.

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The initials and allegations of two other alleged victims who have come forward, according to the plaintiffs' attorney, are not yet part of the lawsuit, although they could be added later.

WAVE 3 News reported in 2013 that Betts was accused of sending sexual text messages to a 16-year-old girl in the program. An internal investigation was closed after Betts resigned later that year.
                    
The attorneys also are arguing over whether the alleged victims' names should be made public. The documents unsealed Monday reveal that issue won't be settled until another hearing next month.

Also in those documents are arguments made by an attorney for Brandon Wood that the names of the accusers should not be kept anonymous. That court filing says it prevents Wood from answering the allegations or mounting a defense.

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