Fourth LMPD officer under investigation for sexual abuse in Explorer program
A fourth LMPD officer is being investigated amid sexual abuse allegations related to the department's Youth Explorer program.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A fourth LMPD officer is being investigated amid sexual abuse allegations related to the department's Youth Explorer program.
Louisville Councilman David Yates confirmed Friday night that Officer Brad Schuhmann is a likely defendant in regards to one of the victims, whom Yates is representing.
LMPD spokesperson Dwight Mitchell would only say Schuhmann was placed on administrative reassignment and that he was under investigation. He would not say what that investigation entailed.
Sources with knowledge of the allegations told WDRB News earlier this week that the alleged abuse occurred in 2010 with a 15-year-old girl. At least one police official at the time knew about the allegations but did not report them.
Sources told WDRB News that pictures Schuhmann had sent the girl from his phone were destroyed by police. WDRB News requested Schumann's personnel file earlier this week. There is nothing in it mentioning the investigation.
“My hope is that the bad actors will be held accountable … that the individuals that failed to do their job will be held accountable," Yates said.
In 2013, LMPD Chief Steve Conrad sent Schuhmann a commendation letter on his work with the Explorer program, according to Schuhmann's personnel file.
"You are a credit to the Louisville Metro Police Department and the Explorer program," Conrad wrote.
The alleged abuse occurred three years earlier.
Yates said that Schumann "worked closely" with Maj. Curtis Flaherty, who was named as a defendant in the initial lawsuit in the Explorer case earlier this year.
The initial lawsuit, filed in March by Yates, claims former LMPD Officer Kenneth Betts and Officer Brandon Wood raped a male teenager - identified by the initials N.C. - between 2011 and 2013 while he was in the Explorer program and accuses the department of covering up the case.
Arrest warrants were issued for both men. The indictment alleges that Betts committed sodomy in the first degree between April 1, 2007 and September 12, 2007 by "engaging in deviate sexual intercourse" with a victim through the use of "forcible compulsion."
Wood allegedly abused a juvenile in 2011 and 2012, according to the indictment.
LMPD reassigned Wood in October amid the investigation, and Officer Betts quit in April 2014 after complaints came to light.
Attorney Lee Sitlinger, who represents Flaherty in the sex abuse civil lawsuit, told WDRB News on Friday at Flaherty is retiring from department. Sitlinger said Flaherty was already considering retiring and is leaving now because of fears of possible changes to the state's pension system.
Sitlinger said there is "no indication" Flaherty's retirement is related to the Explorer scandal.
The chair of the Metro Council Public Safety Committee, David James, says he wants those responsible for abuse in the program to be brought to justice.
“It’s very upsetting for myself, it’s very upsetting for the other council members, and I know it’s upsetting for the community,” James said. “It’s heart wrenching.
James says a new police chief is needed to provide appropriate oversight of the department.
“The FBI is investigating and I don’t personally believe it’s over,” James said. “I believe there’s more victims out there."