LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Jefferson County Commonwealth's Attorneys will be allowed to access sealed court records in an effort to investigate how a former Louisville officer, who confessed to a sex crime involving a 15-year-old girl, got his guilty plea overturned and erased.

The motion granted by Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Annie O’Connell on Thursday may begin to walk back the vacated conviction of Todd Walls, seven years after it happened.

“The only thing we have in our active file ... is one page that says vacated and then expunged,” Jefferson County Commonwealth’s Attorney Thomas Wine said during Thursday’s hearing.

Prosecutors said they have no record to explain why Judge James Shake, who has since retired, set aside the Walls' conviction. The outcome conflicts with a Kentucky law which forbids expungements involving sex crimes or crimes involving children.

Walls pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct in 1996, admitting he had a relationship with a 15-year-old girl while he was a 28-year old officer with the Louisville Police Department. After his arrest, Walls quit the force and accepted a plea deal that reduced felony rape, sodomy and unlawful transaction with a minor charges down to a single misdemeanor. He continued to work in law enforcement for more than two decades.

A July 2015 order signed by Shake expunged the case, sealing it from the public without the victim’s knowledge.

"It makes you feel violated all over again," the victim, now an adult, said in a recent interview. “I wish that I could go back and make it never have happened. I can promise you that. But it did.”

Walls’ case has been the subject of WDRB News investigations for months. It came back into the spotlight last summer with the implementation of Kentucky House Bill 206. The bill requires the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council to revoke the police certification of officers convicted of misdemeanor sex crimes. KLEC certification is required for anyone to work as a sworn officer in Kentucky.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office was forced to fire Walls when the state pulled his license, but he’s now appealing on the basis that the conviction no longer exists.

“The charge was set aside and dismissed with prejudice,” Walls’ attorney Thomas Clay said in Thursday’s hearing.

“The expungement statute is pretty clear that you cannot expunge anything that has to do with a sex crime or a crime against the child,” the victim’s attorney, Rhys Cundiff, said in an interview with WDRB News. “We just want the victim to have a place at the table.”

With Walls' case vacated first, the provision blocking it from being expunged didn't apply.

Judge O’Connell’s order allows prosecutors the chance to inspect any video footage from the 2015 hearing and paper records explaining why the case was set aside.

“The victim, ultimately she would like the charges reinstated,” Cundiff said. “It's just hard to believe that 19 years after (Walls) confessed and was convicted that he was allowed to expunge and vacate his record.”

Walls' appeal to get back his police certification is set to go before the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council on Nov. 16.

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