Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer wants anonymity for the plaintiff in a civil lawsuit who claims to have been sexually abused by police.
The alleged victim says he was repeatedly raped by Louisville Metro Police officers during a two year span as he took part in the department’s Explorer Program. The program caters to young people interested in a career in law enforcement.
The identity of the accuser is currently disclosed only by initials in the suit, according to reports from The Courier-Journal. And the suit, itself, is under a court seal.
The newspaper is leading a charge to unseal the suit to ensure access to additional filings made in the case, not to publish plaintiff’s name, said the paper’s executive editor, Joel Christopher.
Fischer supports unsealing the case, but wants the name of the alleged victim to be kept confidential.
“The names to do not need to be public,” he said in an interview Monday.
During initial arguments last week before a judge, Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell — who is representing the city and the police department — said the alleged victim’s name should be made public to level the playing field with the defendants, whose names are already disclosed in the suit.
O’Connell then quickly reversed his stance, issuing a statement to the newspaper saying “neither I nor the city want any abuse victims’ identity to be made public,” according to a report from The Courier-Journal.
David Yates, the attorney representing the plaintiff in the case, told WAVE-3 that publicizing the alleged victim’s name could serve as intimidation and keep other potential victims from coming forward.
“For that to go across the media, for them to have to live with that the rest of their life, for everybody, their friends, their family, the community to know the intimate details of their victimization, that shows no public purpose,” he told the station.
Yates, who is also the president of the Louisville Metro Council, told The Courier-Journal last week he’s interviewed three other former Explorer participants who claim they were also sexually abused by officers in the program.
LMPD has a pending criminal investigation into the allegations. Details of Explorer program abuse and an alleged cover up were disclosed in the pending civil suit.
Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Judith McDonald-Burkman is set to rule on whether or not to unseal the suit in early May.