Sex case continues against two former police officers

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Evidence in case remains sealed

By Gina Clear

Prosecutors have filed an answer for a motion to dismiss sex-related charges against a former state police trooper.

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Sarah Farmer, special prosecutor assigned to the case against former Kentucky State Police trooper Stratford Young, filed a response in Meade Circuit Court in Brandenburg. Young is charged with two counts of third-degree sodomy and one count of third-degree rape.

All of Young’s charges claim he was a “person in a position of authority or position of special trust” when he engaged in sex acts, including intercourse, with a then-15-year-old girl as a result of his position of authority.

The dismissal motion filed by Young’s

attorney, Kenton Smith, calls into question the definition of a person in a position of authority or position of special trust in a Kentucky Revised Statute subsection. Smith said because the statute neglects to specifically list police officers, it is unconstitutionally vague, which is grounds for dismissal.

Farmer’s response suggests a person in a position of trust is not limited to the positions listed in the statute. The answer goes on to say the burden lies with Young and his defense to prove it is unconstitutional.

“Given that the legislature is concerned about adults in a position to exercise undue influence over minors, it is notable that few positions are as powerful as police officers,” the response reads.

The statute defines a position of authority to mean parents — biological, adoptive, foster or step — adult youth leader, teacher, school employee and others. It does not list police or any law enforcement officer.

According to Young’s indictment, the offenses with the underage girl occurred “on or about May 22, 2013, through July 31, 2013.”

Smith has 30 days to file a response to the commonwealth’s answer. Young’s next court appearance is scheduled for 9 a.m. Aug. 7.

Meanwhile, evidence in cases against Young and former Brandenburg police officer Todd Matti remains sealed.

The commonwealth provided an eight-page list detailing all pieces of evidence provided to the defense for both men.

The list contains audio or video recorded interviews with 19 people, including Young, Matti, former state police trooper Jerry Clanton, who admitted to sexual relations with the girl during a KSP Trial Board when appealing his termination, and former Breckinridge County Sheriff’s Deputy Chris Woosley, who resigned amidst allegations he was sexually involved with the girl. Meade County Sheriff Butch Kerrick also was interviewed.

Also included are voicemails from Woosley’s phone, phone records from 11 phone numbers, several emails, and faxed letters to retired Kentucky State Police Capt. John Ward from Wilson W. Greene of Greene Law Firm, which is handling the civil case for the girl’s family.

Several photos also are contained in the listing to include photos of Stuart Pepper Middle School, David T. Wilson Elementary School, Young’s phone and charger, Woosley’s phone, a Ford Explorer, five photos of tires on SP 3938, 31 photos of a search conducted at Ky. 1638 and of SP 3938, photos from Google Earth and 14 photos of an intersection with road names redacted.

A recorded phone call of a meth complaint, drug test results for the girl and reports from the Center for Health and Family Services Drug Enforcement Branch are included.

Matti’s attorney, Robert Schaefer, said his conference room table is covered with binders containing evidence, including thousands of text messages, provided by the prosecution.

A pretrial conference was reassigned June 19, because Schaefer said he has not had time to get through all the materials and he is in negotiations with the prosecution.

“If there is some way that my client can dispose of this and still keep his name in tact, then I will pursue it,” he said.

Matti is charged with two counts of third-degree sodomy.

According to Matti’s indictment, the offenses occurred “on or about Nov. 16, 2012, in Meade County,” six days after the girl turned 15.

The second count charges third-degree sodomy by a “person in a position of authority or position of special trust” when Matti engaged in “deviate sexual intercourse” with the underage girl as a result of his position of authority.

An indictment is an allegation, not proof of guilt.

Matti’s next court date is scheduled for 9 a.m. July 17.

Information regarding Clanton and Woosley has not been presented to the grand jury. Farmer said she has no intentions of presenting those cases while the other two are ongoing.

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