But Wait A Second!!!
How did the Doo Doo Department Get Down???
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Officers in the Louisville Metro Police Department’s youth Explorer program “interrogated” a girl who had made claims of sexual abuse, took her cell phone and refused to let her parents be present when she was questioned during an out-of-town trip, according to a lawsuit unsealed in U.S. District Court.
The teen’s family also claims that the head of the program tried to keep the allegations quiet through what amounted to a bribe — offering to pay the cost of the trip to Atlanta.
Those allegations are included in thousands of documents made public in federal court on Thursday. In addition, the unsealed records accuse Louisville Metro Police Officer Brad Schuhmann of sexually abusing the girl from 2008 to 2009.
A former Explorer identified only by the initials B.L. claims Schuhmann sexually abused her and sought sexual pictures and acts from her. The abuse allegedly occurred in the officer’s cruiser, at Explorer events and through text messages.
The lawsuit was initially filed under seal in Jefferson Circuit Court in October but was moved to federal court earlier this year. It is among five other similar suits unsealed Thursday. The lawsuit claims the teen told her parents, who confronted Schuhmann and met with the program’s leader at the time, Lt. Curtis Flaherty.
Schuhmann is under criminal investigation and on paid administrative leave.
Flaherty, who is also named as a defendant in the suit, is accused of failing to report the alleged sexual abuse and “concealing” it, according to court documents. He retired last year.
“It is believed Defendant Flaherty did nothing as a result, despite receiving a report of child sex abuse,” according to the lawsuit.
Former police officer and Metro Council President David James said the child should have been taken to the Crimes Against Children Unit to talk about what happened and conduct an investigation.
“I think it’s the responsibility of the city to contact these children that were victims and make sure they’re taken care of and provide them counseling and treatment,” James said. “And as far as I know, that has not happened. In 2013, that should have happened. In 2016, that should have happened. In 2017, that should have happened. And in 2018, that still has not happened.”
The alleged sex abuse was also reported to other officers supervising the Explorer program at a retreat in Atlanta, including Kenneth Betts, Brandon Wood, Julie Schmidt and Matt Gelhausen, according to the lawsuit. All are named as defendants. Gelhausen is still with the department; the others have left or been fired.
The lawsuit claims Schmidt ordered the teen to come outside while she was in her hotel room to discuss the allegations. The teen was “taken to the courtyard alone” with the former officers named in the suit and was “interrogated” for about an hour.
The teen became “hysterically upset” as the officers were “verbally abusive, victim blaming and shaming, and belligerently berating” her, the suit claims. She requested her parents be present but was ignored, the suit claims.
In addition, the suit alleges the officers then searched the teen’s room and all of her belongings, “potentially” taking and destroying “any incriminating evidence they could locate,” without a warrant. B.L.’s phone was seized by police without a court order, according to the suit.
Her parents were “livid” and met with Flaherty and other LMPD advisers, the suit says.