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Women who accused former Louisville police officer of sexual abuse settle lawsuit for $275K

A gavel rests inside the court room of the 100th Air Refueling Wing base legal office at RAF Mildenhall, England, May 28, 2019. The attorneys in the legal office offer commanders legal advice and also provide services like notaries, power of attorneys, wills and legal assistance to Team Mildenhall. (Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joseph Barron)
Airman 1st Class Joseph Barron
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U.S. Air Force
The former officer pleaded guilty in 2019 to five counts of sexual misconduct and one charge of possession of child pornography.

Louisville Metro Government settled a lawsuit with five women who accused a former police officer of rape and sexual misconduct. They will collectively receive $275,000.

In 2019, former Louisville Metro Police officer Pablo Cano admitted to having nonconsensual sex with the five women between 2015 and 2017.

Attorney Shannon Fauver, who represented the women, said the first lawsuit alleging sexual assault was filed against Cano in June 2017. In it, the woman alleged Cano followed her back to her home and raped her.

LMPD put him on administrative leave shortly after the lawsuit was filed amid an investigation. Cano resigned from the department in September 2017. Fauver said her client first filed a police report shortly after the assault, in June 2016.

Fauver said every time there was news coverage of Cano, more women would come forward with allegations of sexual abuse. She said about 10 women spoke to her, including Cano’s former girlfriends.

One of the five women involved in the lawsuits, Jane Doe IV, said Cano had nonconsensual sex with her during a traffic stop, which was partially caught on Cano’s body camera.

“[The women] just want to be done. They don't want to have to go to court. They don't want to have to deal with this again,” Fauver said. “But they're still mad. At least now, the city had to write a check, because he was a cop, and they had to pay something on it.”

Fauver said the settlement does not make up for the pain Cano and the city’s inaction caused her clients. Four of the women will receive $50,000, and Jane Doe IV will receive $75,000.

“[The settlement] was obviously a lot lower than I think is the correct number because there's not a number for rape,” Fauver said. “But at any point, the judges could have decided that the city was not financially responsible, and then [the women] would have gotten nothing.”

Cano pleaded guilty in 2019 to five counts of sexual misconduct and one charge of possession of child pornography. He was released three years into his five year prison sentence and now lives in Florida. He can no longer be a police officer due to the child pornography conviction.

Sylvia is the Capitol reporter for Kentucky Public Radio, a collaboration including Louisville Public Media, WEKU-Richmond, WKU Public Radio and WKMS-Murray. Email her at sgoodman@lpm.org.