Officer, ex-officer indicted in sex abuse scandal that rocked LMPD Youth Explorer Program

Officer, ex-officer indicted in sex abuse scandal that rocked LMPD Youth Explorer Program
Kenneth Betts during a 2013 visit to Norton Children's Hospital with other LMPD officers (Source: WAVE 3 News archives)
Kenneth Betts during a 2013 visit to Norton Children's Hospital with other LMPD officers (Source: WAVE 3 News archives)
Officer Brandon Wood (Source: LMPD)
Officer Brandon Wood (Source: LMPD)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A grand jury indicted two men, one a current officer and the other a former officer for the Louisville Metro Police Department, Wednesday afternoon in a sex abuse case that rocked the LMPD Youth Explorer Program.

Officer Brandon Wood was indicted on seven counts of sex abuse.

Former officer Kenneth Betts was indicted on charges of first and third-degree sodomy.

Wood's bond will be set at $10,000. Betts' bond will be set at $15,000.

"I will enter a plea of not guilty with Officer Wood on Monday," his attorney, Steve Schroering said. "He maintains his innocence of all criminal charges. We will await discovery from the Commonwealth and look forward to finally being able to address the allegations that have been swirling around for the last several months."

In the lawsuit, Wood and Betts are accused of sexually abusing one victim in the homes and cars of the officers and at locations owned by the city and the police department. There's one allegation that some of the abuse was recorded.

LMPD Chief Steve Conrad's statement on the indictments is as follows:

"While I am frustrated that I cannot talk about the specific details of the Explorer case because of pending civil litigation, I want to provide you an update following the events that took place today. As you know, indictments were handed down against both Brandon Wood and Kenneth Betts. Following the return of those indictments, I signed a letter of intent to terminate which will be tendered to Brandon Wood today. The criminal indictments followed the Public Integrity Unit investigation.

To clarify, the Public Integrity Unit conducts criminal investigations which focus on violations of criminal law. The Professional Standards Unit conducts administrative investigations which are focused on specific violations of department rules, policies, and procedures. Administrative investigations are limited in scope, by law, to possible violations related to the incident being investigated. Should the PSU investigator become aware of additional administrative violation during the course of the investigation, this violation will be addressed. The investigator may not, however, use the investigation as an opportunity to search for unrelated policy violations.

Unlike criminal investigations, once an employee leaves the department, the employee is no longer subject to administrative discipline; therefore, the administrative investigation will end. Criminal Investigations, alternatively, can continue regardless of employment status.

Because the criminal investigation into this matter is still ongoing and due to the pending litigation, I can say nothing further at this time."

Both men have turned themselves in. Woods posted bond Wednesday evening.

Both are expected to be in court separately on Monday.

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