Metro Government, LMPD ask to be dismissed from sex abuse lawsui - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Metro Government, LMPD ask to be dismissed from sex abuse lawsuit

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Metro Government and the Louisville Metro Police Department have asked to be dismissed from a lawsuit alleging a cover-up involving two officers sexually abusing a teen in the department’s youth Explorer program.

The police department and city argue they are immune from litigation and that the alleged victim, identified only as "N.C." in court documents, is barred from suing under Kentucky’s one-year statute of limitations for personal injuries.

N.C. claims former officers Brandon Wood and 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.

The motion to dismiss, filed on Monday, also asks Judge Judith McDonald-Burkman to dismiss Wood, Betts and another officer, Curtis Flaherty, in their official capacity as employees for the city.

The three officers have also asked the judge to dismiss the lawsuit.

In addition to the statute of limitations, 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, Wood’s attorney argued last month

An attorney for 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 last week.

 Judith McDonald-Burkman unsealed the case earlier this month. 

The city has denied most of the allegations.

Metro Government has 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.”

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