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Four former officers awaiting case's outcome

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Investigation launched after allegations of relationship with teen

By Gina Clear

After allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a 15-year-old girl surfaced in September, four former area law enforcement officers still are awaiting the outcome of a special prosecutor’s investigation.

Kentucky State Police Post 4 Troopers Jerry Clanton and Stratford Young were terminated from employment Sept. 13 and have been named as subjects of an investigation by special prosecutor Thomas Wine, Jefferson County commonwealth’s attorney. He confirmed his office is investigating two other officers, but would not release their names.

Clanton appealed his termination through a KSP Trial Board in early January. He was found guilty on all administrative interagency charges, including conduct unbecoming of a trooper, and was denied reinstatement, said Sgt. Michael Webb, KSP’s public affairs commander. Clanton testified during the hearing, which was not a criminal proceeding.

KSP completed its own investigation on the four officers and turned the case over in late November to Wine’s office.

“We don’t present cases unless we believe it is eligible for prosecution, unless we think a crime has been committed,” except in limited circumstances such as an officer-involved shooting, Webb said.

Wine said two of his prosecutors still are investigating the case to determine how the office will proceed — either dismiss the case or present it to a grand jury for possible indictment.

“We want to make sure we’re thorough in our investigation,” he said.

He said no arrests would be made unless there is an indictment.

With the burden of proof greater than that in a civil trial, Wine said his office is taking careful steps in its investigation.

“Every case is going to be different,” Wine said. “We want to make sure our ducks are in a row because we have to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Because the KSP Trial Board hearing is subject to open records, Wine said Clanton’s testimony, in which he admitted to having sexual contact with the girl, could be used in possible criminal proceedings.

Wine’s office formally accepted the case Oct. 22 and had its first interview with investigators Nov. 19.

Although not named by Wine, Todd Matti of Brandenburg Police Department and Chris Woosley, a former sheriff’s deputy for Breckinridge County, possibly are the two other officers involved, according to Wilson Greene, an attorney for the alleged victim’s father. Both resigned following investigations into the matter, he said.

Greene’s office also is conducting its own investigation into the allegations and he “fully expects to file civilly,” Greene said.

According to a news release from Greene, the family is making sure the alleged victim is receiving care and treatment and is in a safe environment.

“The injuries and violations she has been subjected to are both horrific and tragic,” the news release read. “Although I’m not going to comment on the specific facts, I will say this, what this child has been through is something that no child should ever be forced to endure.”

Gina Clear can be reached at 270-505-1746 or gclear@thenewsenterprise.com.