National civil rights attorney says Louisville on brink of #MeToo movement with LMPD rape allegations
Thus far, nine women have accused a former Louisville Metro Police Department officer of rape.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville may be on the brink of its own #MeToo movement.
Thus far, nine women have accused former Louisville Metro Police Department officer Pablo Cano of rape, and on Wednesday, a prominent national civil rights attorney joined the case.
"This officer ... violated their trust in the entire system when he coerced them when they were most vulnerable," Benjamin Crump said. "We declare Louisville, Kentucky, will be Ground Zero in the "Me Too" movement, of women being violated by these rogue police officers."
Crump is best known for representing the families of Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice and Michael Brown, but he also won a case that ended with Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw sentenced to 263 years in prison for sexually assaulting 13 women.
The women accusing Cano were already being represented by Shannon Fauver, one of the Louisville lawyers who won the right to legalize gay marriage at the U.S. Supreme Court.
Cano's first accuser spoke to WDRB in July of 2017. All cases are filed as "Jane Doe" to protect the women.
"He grabbed the back of my head and slammed me against the door jam," Jane Doe 1 recalled. "I knew if I went to the hospital, I would have to go through an exam, because I was bleeding. [It] would have been horrific. I knew they would call the police, and I didn't trust whoever showed up to keep me safe."
"This is not anything new, but now women are finding their courage to speak up and speak out and say they refuse to be victims anymore," Crump said.
As more women came forward, Cano quit his job at LMPD in September. LMPD's Public Integrity referred the case to the prosecutor, but he has not been charged criminally.
"The evidence came in a few days ago, but with more women coming forward, they have to collect new evidence," Fauver said.
A WDRB investigation revealed at least four other police departments in Cano's home state of Florida refused to hire Cano. His attorney says the former officer is innocent.
We're told he's moved back home.
- Investigation: LMPD officer accused of rape was passed over by 4 other police departments
- New lawsuit accuses another Louisville Metro Police officer of rape
- LMPD releases photo of officer accused of raping 2 women
- Third woman accuses LMPD officer of rape
- Louisville Metro Council members call for change after third woman accuses LMPD officer of rape
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