A former Louisville Metro Police officer was sentenced to five years in prison Monday after pleading guilty to five counts of sexual misconduct.
Pablo Cano, 38, admitted to having sex without consent with five different women between November 2015 and February 2017.
Attorney Shannon Fauver, who represents the women in civil suits against Cano and the department, said they would have liked him to serve more prison time but were thankful for some resolution.
“It’s better he pleaded guilty to something and he’s no longer able to be a police officer and he’s serving prison time,” Fauver said.
Cano was arraigned on the charges, entered his plea and was sentenced Monday before Jefferson Circuit Judge Charles Cunningham.
While Cano didn’t make any statement to the four victims in the case who sat in the courtroom, Fauver said Cunningham read aloud the crime against each woman, leading Cano to say “guilty” to each charge individually.
“At least the women had some vindication that he’s admitted to doing something to them without their consent, which is important,” she said.
As part of his plea deal, Cano will have to register as a sex offender and would need to complete a sex offender program in prison to be considered for parole, said Jeff Cooke, a spokesman for the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office.
LMPD, which hired Cano in 2015, deferred comment on the case to the prosecutor’s office.
The first suit against Cano was filed in June 2017, alleging sexual assault by Cano, after which the department put him on administrative leave amid an investigation.
He resigned in September 2017.
Five additional suits were ultimately filed, all alleging forced sexual contact on multiple occasions, including instances in which the officer was on duty and in uniform.
In the civil suits — one of which was dismissed after the plaintiff decided she didn’t want to move forward — Cano has denied wrongdoing.
Prosecutors in the office have spent more than a year reviewing evidence collected by LMPD’s Public Integrity Unit, which investigates Louisville Metro Government employees in matters of possible criminal wrongdoing.
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While accused of rape in multiple suits, Cano was charged with sexual misconduct, a Class A misdemeanor, which state law defines as “sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse with another person without the latter’s consent.”
Addressing Cano’s charges, Cooke said there was an evidentiary issue regarding “forcible compulsion,” or the level of physical force or threat of physical force used in the crime.
Fauver said Monday’s plea was “a resolution that everybody could live with” that also spared the women from having to take the case to trial.
“These kind of cases are important because if victims don’t come forward, he still would have been on the force,” she said.
In court Monday, Cano also pleaded guilty to a single felony count of possession of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor.
The child pornography was discovered as investigators examined electronic evidence in the sexual misconduct case, Fauver said.
Of the five pending civil suits, three are before the Kentucky Court of Appeals after circuit judges dismissed the city as a defendant and Fauver appealed.
She said she’s hopeful the end of the criminal probe will clear the way for a civil settlement.
Reporter Matthew Glowicki can be reached at 502-582-4989 or email@example.com. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: courier-journal.com/mattg.
Published at Mon, 07 Oct 2019 09:35:00 +0000