Kentucky mayor asks court to unseal sexual assault case vs police

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 13, 2017 6:58 PM

By Timothy Mclaughlin

(Reuters) - The mayor of Louisville, Kentucky, asked a court on Monday to unseal a lawsuit that alleges two members of the city's police department sexually abused a teenager while he was part of a Boy Scout-affiliated youth program.

The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday on behalf of an unnamed man who joined the Louisville Metro Police Youth Explorers program in 2011 when he was 16 years old, according to the man's attorney, David Yates.

Yates has fought to keep the name of the litigant private to protect his identity. He could not be reached for comment late Monday.

The man, who was identified only as N.C., was abused by two members of the Louisville Metro Police Department over a number of years, Yates said. The police run the youth program in affiliation with the Boy Scouts of America.

"The allegations represent an appalling betrayal of trust and abuse of power, and threaten a program that has helped so many young men and women interested in becoming police officers and law enforcement leaders," Mayor Greg Fischer said in a statement on Monday.

"To restore the public's trust in this program, the proceedings must be as open as the courts will allow."

The explorer program was also being suspended, Fischer said.

The Louisville police department and the Boy Scouts did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Yates asked for the lawsuit to be sealed by Jefferson Circuit Judge Judith McDonald-Burkman and declined give specifics of the case, including the names of the officers.

"We are up against a mountain," Yates said in a telephone call on Monday morning. "We have sued the police department and people of powerful authority."

Two police officers are among the seven defendants in the case, according to Yates, who said his client was abused from 2011 through 2013.

One officer had resigned and another was reassigned to desk duty, Yates said.

A copy of the 25-page complaint obtained by the Courier-Journal newspaper alleges that the youth was raped and sexually abused by two officers in their homes and police vehicles.

The episodes were recorded and used to make pornography, the newspaper said.

The youth program is open to anyone aged 14 to 19 who is interested in a career in law enforcement, according to an online brochure.

The defendants concealed evidence of the abuse, the Courier-Journal reported, citing the complaint.

(Reporting by Timothy Mclaughlin in Chicago; Editing by Richard Chang)