Kenneth Betts seated in court

Kenneth Betts during a 2019 court appearance. (WDRB file photo)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A former Louisville Metro Police officer serving 16 years in federal prison for his role in the department's youth Explorer program sex scandal has been denied early release.

Kenneth Betts asked for a compassionate release, citing a compromised immune system from a 2013 cancer diagnosis, making him more susceptible to a COVID-19 outbreak in prison. 

According to court documents, Betts also argued that "he has demonstrated he has been rehabilitated during the time he's served."

A district judge on Thursday found Betts already had and recovered from COVID-19 while in prison. Considering "the nature and circumstances of the offense and the history and characteristics of the defendant," the judge said releasing Betts 15 years early "would not reflect the seriousness of the offense." 

Betts is in federal prison on child pornography and enticement charges. He also pleaded guilty to sodomy charges in state court.

Betts and former officer Brandon Wood were both convicted of sexually abusing teens in the Explorer program, which mentored youth interested in becoming police officers. Both men were mentors to the teens.

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