This story was produced by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, a nonprofit newsroom by Louisville Public Media. For more, visit KyCIR.org.
A Louisville Metro Police detective has filed a lawsuit, claiming he was demoted after he reported a woman’s allegation of sexual assault against a sex crimes detective.
Det. Jason Moseley filed suit Wednesday against LMPD and his supervisor, Sgt. Anthony Doninger. Moseley claims that a victim’s advocate working with the state’s human trafficking task force told him she had been sexually assaulted by Det. Kris Pedigo — a detective in the sex crimes unit.
“She feared for other victims who Pedigo would be in contact with,” the lawsuit said.
Moseley alleged he was effectively pushed out of the sex crimes unit after reporting the allegation. The lawsuit does not name the woman who made the allegation to Moseley or detail the alleged incident.
Reached on his cell, Pedigo directed all questions to LMPD. A spokesperson for LMPD said they do not comment on pending litigation.
Claims made in a lawsuit represent one side of a case.
Moseley said in the lawsuit that after he told Doninger about the victim advocate’s report of sexual assault, Doninger interviewed her. He then referred her to LMPD’s Professional Standards Unit, which investigates potential violations of police policy and also interviewed her, the lawsuit said.
A different internal affairs unit, the Public Integrity Unit, investigates allegations of criminal wrongdoing by LMPD officers and other city officials.
The lawsuit alleges that Doninger was “angry” that Moseley had reported the allegation against Pedigo, who was Doninger’s good friend and former beat partner.
Doninger allegedly spent “months subjecting Detective Moseley to verbal beratements, ridicule, harassment and hypercritical and contradictory reviews of his work.”
On August 2, the lawsuit claims, Doninger and another senior LMPD officer told Moselely he could leave the Sex Crimes Unit or be removed involuntarily.
Moseley left the unit, the suit said. He remains employed by LMPD, according to his attorney, Morgan McGarvey.
“We need to encourage people to report problems, bad behavior and bad actions that they see, not retaliate against them and punish them for coming forward and trying to clean things up,” said McGarvey, a Democratic state senator. The lawsuit requests lost compensation, reinstatement and punitive damages.
Recent LMPD Sex Crime Issues
A 2019 investigation by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting foundLouisville had low rape reporting rates, low prosecution rates and low conviction rates compared to the rest of the country.
Several LMPD officers have been accused of sexual misconduct in recent years. A woman filed a lawsuit in November 2020 alleging that former LMPD Detective Brett Hankison sexually assaulted her, and that the department turned a blind eye. Hankison is the only officer to face criminal charges related to the police killing of Breonna Taylor.
Det. Brian Bailey, the department’s top search warrant getter, is under investigation for allegations he sexually abused confidential informants, a KyCIR/WDRB investigation found. In that case, LMPD only opened a misconduct investigation, not a criminal probe, into the complaints against Bailey.
Former LMPD officer Pablo Cano was sentenced to five years in prison after he admitted to sexually assaulting five women between 2015 and 2017, and pled guilty to reduced charges of sexual misconduct.
And in the most high-profile case, three LMPD officers involved with the department’s Youth Explorer program were convicted of child sexual abuse. Kenneth Betts was sentenced in 2019 to 16 years in federal prison; Brandon Wood was sentenced to nearly six years. Brad Schumann was sentenced to six months of home confinement.