In a lawsuit packed with explosive allegations, a former member of the Louisville Police youth program says he was raped and sexually abused by two officers during a two-year period and the police concealed it.
The plaintiff, identified as “N.C.,” said he was sodomized by Officers Kenneth Betts and Brandon Wood from the time he was 17 to 19 years old and that the abuse occurred in their homes and police vehicles.
The suit also alleges that Betts and Wood recorded the episodes and used them to make pornography.
The suit, filed Wednesday in Jefferson Circuit Court, was sealed by Judge Judith McDonald-Burkman, but the Courier-Journal obtained a copy.
The man’s attorney, David Yates, who moved to seal the complaint, has previously said his client was sexually abused by “people in power” and that Yates believes there was an attempted coverup.
“N.C.” also says in the suit that the “deliberate conduct” of Betts and Woods was designed to intimidate, degrade and control him for their sexual gratification and to force him to remain silent.
Accusations made in a lawsuit represent only one side of the case.
The 25-page complaint, filed by Yates, who also is president of the Metro Council, alleges the defendants concealed evidence through “intimidation, coercion and destruction of evidence, falsification of reports, omission of information and deletion of electronic media, phone messages” and additional information.
Besides Betts and Wood, the suit names the city, the police department and the Boy Scouts of America as defendants.
It asks for punitive damages, saying the plaintiff suffered serious physical and emotional injuries including depression, anger, insomnia and other sleep disorders.
It also names as a defendant Curtis Flaherty, who is now a major and was a lieutenant when he led the Youth Explorer Program, which is run in partnership with the Boy Scouts of America and works with teenagers interested in law-enforcement careers.
The suit doesn’t specify Flaherty’s alleged wrongdoing, but it says that by failing to report the abuse or take appropriate disciplinary actions, the defendants “purposely and/or fraudulently concealed his misconduct.”
The misconduct started in 2011, when “N.C.” became a cadet in the Explorer program, and continued through 2013, the suit alleges.
And it says the city, police department and Boy Scouts knew or should have known of the “conduct and proclivities” of Betts and Wood.
Police spokeswoman Alicia Smiley said Friday the department doesn’t comment on pending litigation.
Wood’s lawyer, Steve Schroering, said last week that his client maintains his innocence, while attorney Brian Butler, who represents Betts, declined to comment.
Betts and Wood participated in the the Explorer program before joining the police department. Betts was named Explorer of the Year in 2004.
Mayor Greg Fischer previously called the allegations “appalling.” His spokesman, Chris Poynter, said the mayor’s office was served with the suit Friday but couldn’t comment because the case is sealed.
Kentucky statutory rape law is normally violated when a person has consensual sexual intercourse with an individual under age 16, but the age rises to 18 if the offender is in a position of trust or authority over the victim.