Former LMPD officers Brandon Wood and Kenneth Betts ask judge to - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Former LMPD officers Brandon Wood and Kenneth Betts ask judge to dismiss sex abuse lawsuit

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Former LMPD Officer Brandon Wood Former LMPD Officer Brandon Wood

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Two former Louisville Metro Police officers sued over alleged sex abuse and a cover-up in the department's youth Explorer program have asked a judge to dismiss the lawsuit.

Through an attorney, former officer Brandon Wood claims the lawsuit filed on behalf of an alleged victim, identified only as "N.C." in court documents, is barred under Kentucky’s one-year statute of limitations for personal injuries.

N.C. claims Wood and former officer Kenneth Betts sexually abused him while he was a teen in the Explorer program between 2011 and 2013. The statute of limitations would have run out in 2014, according to a motion filed Friday in Jefferson Circuit Court.

Regardless of the lawsuit’s "factual merit, or lack thereof," it is "not legally viable due to the passage of time," wrote attorney Kenneth Bohnert, who represents Wood.

In addition, David Yates, the attorney who filed the lawsuit, failed to comply with "procedural rules" requiring everyone involved to be named, according to Wood’s motion. Yates also is president of the Louisville Metro Council.

The lawsuit is "defective" because it was not brought in the "name" of any person, Bohnert alleges.

N.C. has not "established legal or factual basis for proceeding anonymously" and the case should be dismissed, the motion says.

On Monday, Betts made similar arguments but also claimed Yates violated an order that initially sealed the lawsuit and spoke with the media about the case.

"As a result of (Yates') reckless statements, the Defendants have been subject to extensive, denigrating media attention in this case -- exactly the type of conduct" which sealing a case is designed to avoid, Kent Wicker, an attorney for Betts wrote. 

 Judith McDonald-Burkman unsealed the case earlier this month. 

The city filed its response to the lawsuit on Friday, denying most of the allegations.

Metro Government provided seven possible defenses, including that the city had "no control," responsibility or liability for any of N.C.’s alleged damages.

And the city filed a cross-claim against Betts and Wood, arguing it should not have to pay any damages stemming from alleged illegal acts by the former officers.

The initial suit alleges that Wood and Betts molested, abused and raped the teen and recorded the sexual acts.

In addition, police officials are accused of concealing evidence of the conduct by intimidation, destruction of evidence, deletion of information and refusal to comply with the Kentucky Open Records Act, as well as conspiracy to cover up the wrongdoing, according to the suit. 

Police are also accused of falsifying reports, deleting phone records and audio files and destroying other records.

Allegations against Betts date from as early as 2013, when a 16-year-old girl claimed the officer texted her shirtless pictures of himself and asked to meet her and "make out."

During that internal police investigation, a male teen told police that Betts offered him money for sex and promised to take care of a traffic citation in exchange for sexual favors.

The internal investigation by the department’s professional standards unit found that Betts violated police procedures but committed no criminal acts involving the girl.

There was no investigation into the male teenager’s allegations, and Betts avoided any discipline by leaving the department in April 2014.

Police Chief Steve Conrad closed that case “by exception” when Betts resigned, saying “no further action need be taken.”

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has temporarily suspended the Explorer program.

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