Kenneth Betts

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – A former Louisville Metro Police officer already federally convicted of sex crimes in the department’s youth mentoring Explorer program is scheduled to plead guilty in May to state charges involving sodomy of teens.

In a Jefferson Circuit Court order on Thursday, Judge Annie O’Connell wrote that Kenneth Betts is scheduled to plead guilty on May 10.

That is the same day Betts is scheduled to be sentenced in U.S. District Court in Louisville to charges of knowingly distributing child pornography, possession of child pornography, transferring obscene material to a minor, enticement and attempted enticement, among other charges. 

That plea agreement calls for 10 to 15 years in prison, although the judge does not have to follow that recommendation. 

Attorney Brian Butler, who represents Betts, declined to comment on the state court case. 

Betts and former 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.

In January, Wood pleaded guilty to an attempted enticement charge in federal court. 

The plea deal calls for a five-year prison sentence. 

In state court, Wood was indicted on seven counts of sexual abuse with one alleged victim, a juvenile, stemming from incidents in 2011 and 2012. He has a hearing scheduled for May 6 - the same day he will be sentenced in federal court. 

In his state case, Betts is charged with two counts of sodomy involving two different alleged victims. The indictment alleges Betts engaged in “deviate sexual intercourse” with one of the victims through the use of “forcible compulsion” over a five-month period in 2007.

And Betts is accused of committing sodomy on July 26, 2013 with a minor “he came into contact with as a result” of his position as a police officer.

It is unclear what charges he will plead guilty to. 

Betts quit the force in April 2014 after complaints came to light.

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.

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Digital Reporter

Jason Riley is a criminal justice reporter for 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