Review of police program’s child sex abuse scandal completes
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A former U.S. attorney says his team has completed a special investigation into a Kentucky city’s handling of a child sex abuse scandal within a police program.
Kerry Harvey said Monday he expects city leaders will receive the review of the handling of sexual abuse allegations in the Louisville Metro Police Department’s Youth Explorers program as soon as April, The Courier Journal reported . Mayor Greg Fischer’s office said the report will be released to the public.
The story broke when a former Explorer Scout identified only as N.C. sued the city and police officers Kenneth Betts and Brandon Wood, whom he accused of sexually assaulting him.
Sexual misconduct lawsuits have since been filed by least four other former participants in the program for teens interested in law enforcement. Betts resigned in 2014 and Wood was fired after they were both indicted on multiple sex offense charges last year. Each has pleaded not guilty.
Under his $70,000 contract, Harvey must create a timeline outlining which city officials knew about the abuse allegations and when, as well as what actions they took.
Fischer said under oath that he first learned about abuse accusations in October 2016. Police Chief Steve Conrad said during a separate disposition that he had informed Deputy Mayor Ellen Hesen in 2013 and 2014 about an investigation into Betts for inappropriate pictures sent to a young girl. Hesen said under oath that she didn’t remember being briefed.
Council President David James, a Democrat like Fischer, said he’s concerned that Harvey’s review is overdue and might not be thorough, stressing the need for anyone involved to be held accountable.
Harvey said his team was blocked from doing some interviews, but did not elaborate on the intended subjects. The Louisville police union filed an injunction that prevented at least three police officers from sitting down with independent investigators.
The review has run alongside the civil cases and criminal investigations into the Youth Explorers matter, included one conducted by the FBI.
Information from: The Courier-Journal, http://www.courier-journal.com