LOUISVILLE, Ky., (WDRB) - A former Louisville Metro Police officer is headed to prison for 16 years for his role in the department's youth sex scandal. 

A federal judge sentenced Kenneth Betts on child pornography and enticement charges involving the Louisville Metro Police Department's Explorer program for youth mentoring.

U.S. District Court Judge Dave Hale initially rejected a 15-year sentence calling it too lenient. On Tuesday, prosecutors and the defense proposed a sentence of between 15 and 20 years, and Hale opted to sentence Betts to 16 years.

"Kenny is very pleased with this chapter of his life being behind him," said his attorney, Brian Butler. "His family looks forward to him completing his sentence and coming home to the people who love him."

Betts asked the judge for mercy and apologized to his victims, taking responsibility for his actions during the sentencing, Butler said. 

There is no parole in the federal system, and Betts will have to serve at least 85 percent of his sentence.

The judge also ordered Betts to pay $20,000 in restitution to one of the victims. 

“We know all too well that LMPD officers place their lives at jeopardy daily to protect our kids,” U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman said in a press release. “Mr. Betts’ foul conduct tarnished his badge and earned him over a decade and a half in federal prison with no parole.”

Betts is still scheduled to plead guilty to sodomy charges in state court on July 8. 

In January, Betts pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of knowingly distributing child pornography, possession of child pornography, transferring obscene material to a minor, enticement and attempted enticement, among other charges.

The allegations against Betts stretch from his first year in the department in 2006 through 2016.

Betts and former LMPD officer Brandon Wood are both facing criminal charges and civil litigation in Jefferson Circuit Court stemming from their alleged sexual abuse of teens under their supervision as part of a program for young people interested in law enforcement careers.

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Jason Riley is a criminal justice reporter for WDRB.com. He joined WDRB News in 2013 after 14 years with The Courier-Journal. He graduated from Western Kentucky University. Jason can be reached at 502-585-0823 and jriley@wdrb.com.