The taxpayers of Louisville, Kentucky, were informed this week that they would be on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars to compensate for one of the city's finest's despicable deeds. The money is part of a settlement for a lawsuit brought against the city after an officer's groping of a lady.
Without the presence of another officer, the groping accusation may never have been established. Fortunately, the officer was wearing a body camera and had the will to halt Gelnett's sexual attack.
Kali Coates was with her boyfriend and family when she was pulled over by police on Jan. 5, 2019, for a routine traffic infraction, according to the complaint. Gelnett claimed to "smell marijuana" during the stop and forced Coates out of the car before "inappropriately" putting his hands in her "crotch region" and then into her underpants, the complaint alleges.
After sexually abusing Coates in front of her car, Gelnett escorted her to the rear of the vehicle, where she was subjected to a second attack – this time in plain view of another officer on the scene.
Gelnett is accused in the complaint of "groping her buttocks and vagina to the point that another officer interfered and reprimanded him." The body camera video corroborates this assertion.
“Jesus!” Coates exclaims as Gelnett gropes her intimate parts with the front of his hand, which is against regulation. "How impolite!"
The officer on the situation then intervenes, instructing Gelnett to leave and reprimanding him before attempting to explain to Coates and her boyfriend that he is in training.
"Hello, hey, time," the unidentified cop said to Gelnett. "Take a break. Take a break. Return there."
According to WDRB, body camera footage acquired by WDRB News shows another officer explaining to a very unhappy Coates that Gelnett was undergoing training and apologising for the manner in which she was searched and that the officer will be disciplined.
"We apologise to you," the unidentified officer said in the footage after the traffic stop. "I want to express my personal regret."
"He is a rookie cop; I am in the process of teaching him," the officer said.
Coates informed the authorities. Gelnett had "searched her with his fingertips."
"I've never had somebody... "It was inconvenient," she said to the other officer.
"As soon as I noticed him, I brought him to a halt," the officer said to the pair. "Everything is being recorded. That is something I want to reassure you of."
After that, the officer informed the couple that Gelnett would face consequences for his conduct. Gelnett's penalty for touching Coates is unknown since the department has declined to accept responsibility in the case – despite the officer admitting wrongdoing in the video below.
"I'll be honest with you, he had no clue what he was doing," the officer said.
However, he may have been aware of what he was doing. Gelnett might have been hunting for marijuana to offer to his girlfriend, given what transpired a year later.
According to WDRB, Gelnett was charged with official misconduct and drug trafficking in November 2020 for allegedly seizing marijuana while processing cases but then providing it to a lady with whom he was having an affair.
In 2021, he resigned from the department and entered a plea of guilty to official misconduct.
Coates and her boyfriend were released without citations or prosecution after the sexual assault.