LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A third Louisville Metro Police officer has pleaded guilty to sexual abusing a minor while serving as a mentor in the department’s youth Explorer program.
Former Officer Brad Schuhmann faces up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine after pleading guilty in U.S. District Court on Monday to a misdemeanor charge of sexual abuse.
Schuhmann, who resigned from the department earlier this month, will be sentenced March 10, and prosecutors indicated they would recommend six months incarceration. The judge will ultimately decide the sentence.
Schuhmann, 31, will remain free on bond, and he is not allowed to have any firearms. After serving his sentence, Schuhmann will have to register as a sex offender and will be on supervised probation for a year.
The former officer was indicted Nov. 3 by a federal grand jury and was only supposed to be arraigned Monday but decided to instead go forward with the guilty plea.
Schuhmann said little in court but admitted he “subjected” a juvenile female in the Explorer program to “sexual contact” at her home and other places in 2010.
Schuhmann, who had himself been a participant in the now-defunct Explorer Program in 2009, joined LMPD in January 2010.
The victim listened to the hearing remotely but did not comment.
Schuhmann declined to speak with reporters after the plea, but his attorney, Patrick Renn, said, "Obviously, this was a misjudgment on the part of Mr. Schuhmann...and that's who he is...taking responsibility for his own actions. It's unfortunate, that now 10-years later, this is the penalty that is being imposed upon him."
Renn said Schuhmann is "paying a pretty significant penalty by having to come here and admit the kind of conduct that no one would want to talk about publicly."
In January 2019, the Jefferson Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office announced prosecutors would not seek charges against Schuhmann for allegedly sexually abusing a girl in the Explorer program.
At the time, prosecutors said they sent a letter with the findings and their recommendation in the investigation of Schuhmann to the Louisville Public Corruption Civil Rights Task Force, which includes local and federal law enforcement.
A girl identified as “B.L.” claimed in a federal lawsuit that Schuhmann abused her in his police cruiser and sought sexual pictures and acts from her.
The lawsuit, which is pending, claims the teen told her parents, who confronted Schuhmann and met with the program’s leader at the time, Lt. Curtis Flaherty.
Flaherty, who is also named as a defendant in the suit, is accused of failing to report the alleged sexual abuse and “concealing” it, according to court documents. He retired in 2017.
Former officers Kenneth Betts and Brandon Wood have both already been convicted of federal and state crimes and are in prison.
Wood was sentenced to 70 months in prison for attempted enticement of a teen in the youth mentoring program. Between 2011 and 2012, Wood attempted to entice a juvenile to engage in sexual activity, according to authorities. Wood met the juvenile through the LMPD Explorer program during a camp held in Bullitt County. Wood used social media to make contact with the juvenile after the camp, attempting to entice him into sexual activity, according to the charge.
In addition, Wood also pleaded guilty in state court to seven counts of sexually abusing a teen in the program and is serving a five-year sentence that is running concurrent with the federal conviction.
Betts is currently serving 16 years in federal prison on child pornography and enticement charges. He also pleaded guilty to sodomy charges in state court.
Betts, Wood and Schuhmann, along with other police and city officials, are accused in seven federal lawsuits 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 lawsuits.
Police are also accused of falsifying reports, deleting phone records and audio files, and destroying other records.
An investigation into LMPD's handling of allegations of sexual misconduct in the youth Explorer program found police made several "mistakes," including a failure to look into possible criminal conduct and determine if the abuse was widespread. But the report ultimately concluded there was no massive cover-up by police or city officials.
This story may be updated.
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