[3/18/17] Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced Friday that he has asked the FBI to investigate what he called “our worst nightmare,” the alleged sexual abuse of children in the police department’s Youth Explorer program.
Fischer also said he had hired former U.S. Attorney Kerry Harvey to review the investigation conducted by Louisville Metro Police and determine whether “errors were made,” including by police Chief Steve Conrad.
“If there has been an injustice, it will be remedied,” Fischer said.
Harvey, who was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2010 as the top prosecutor in the Eastern District of Kentucky and stepped down in January, said he would conduct a “stem-to-stern review” to determine if the investigation was effective and appropriate – and if procedures were not followed, “why not.”
A lawsuit filed last week on behalf of a former Scout identified as N.C. charges that his alleged rape by Officers Kenneth Betts and Brandon Wood was “concealed” by department officials. Betts and Wood are accused of sexually assaulting the former Scout from 2011 through 2013 and recording the incidents to make porn.
The Courier-Journal reported this week that Conrad ended an investigation of alleged “improper contact” between Betts and a teenage girl in the program because Betts resigned in 2014. Wood is still with the force but on administrative assignment.
Conrad told the Courier-Journal on Friday he is “dying” to talk about the allegations but is barred from doing so by a court order sealing the lawsuit. Fischer said he expects the case will be unsealed next week.
The Courier-Journal has filed a motion to unseal the case. The city has also asked that it be unsealed.
Fischer said he first learned about misconduct in the Explorer program last October when he received a heads-up from Conrad that there would be media reports. The mayor declined to comment when asked whether additional police officers or youths were involved, citing a pending criminal investigation by the department’s Public Integrity Unit.
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