By Mark Boxley
Louisville Metro Police Detective Carl Payne was charged with three counts of first-degree official misconduct Monday over allegations he propositioned three women for sex after arresting them in exchange for assisting them with their court cases, according to a Jefferson County criminal summons.
Carl Payne, 38, of Elizabethtown, was placed under investigation by the department’s Public Integrity Unit in February, the Courier-Journal previously reported.
The charges filed against him Monday allege that from March 20, 2013 to Jan. 2, 2014 Payne — a member of the department’s Violent Incident Prevention, Enforcement and Response (VIPER) Unit — contacted three women after arresting them and “propositioned each of them for sex and encouraged sexually explicit text messages and photographs from the victims in return for assisting them with court cases,” the summons said.
Payne has been on administrative reassignment since Feb. 7, LMPD spokesman Dwight Mitchell said.
Lt. Kit Steimle, who led the VIPER Unit, is also under investigation and has been on administrative reassignment since Feb. 24, Mitchell said.
Police have not said if the two investigations are related.
This is not the first time Payne has been under investigation with the department, according to his personnel file. On June 20, 2013, an investigation was opened after he was arrested for operating a motor vehicle under the influence in Hardin County on June 19, according to a document in his personnel file.
He was suspended without pay for 20 days from the police department. His charges became effective Oct. 3 and he was restored to police powers on November 25, 2013.
He was also reprimanded for missing four court appearances in 2007.
According to the summons, Payne arrested the first victim on March 27, 2013, and soon after contacted the woman by phone, sending her “numerous sexually explicit text messages.” During one conversation, Payne asked the woman to meet him at his office late at night, saying “if she helped him out, he could help her out,” referring to her court case, it said.
The second incident started on Dec. 11, 2013, when Payne arrested a woman and her boyfriend, according to the summons. While the boyfriend was in the front seat of Payne’s police car, he was in the back with the woman typing her messages on his phone for her to read, it said. One told her she was attractive, asked why she was with her boyfriend. Another message asked for her phone number, according to the summons.
Payne is also accused of putting his phone number in the second woman’s purse and told her to call him “so that he could help her with her court case,” the summons said. When she was released from jail she contacted him thinking he could help her, but he started sending her “explicit text messages,” the summons said.
Payne appeared in court on the woman’s case and had it continued on Dec. 15, 2013, which is when she told her attorney about his communications, it said.
Payne arrested the third woman and her boyfriend on April 25, 2013, the summons said. He started contacting her on Dec. 18, 2013, allegedly sending her explicit text messages and photos of his genitalia, it said. He also asked her to meet with him in exchange for helping her and her boyfriend with their court cases and offered to have gun and drug charges against her dismissed, the summons said.
Additional information was not immediately available from LMPD on any departmental actions against Payne stemming from Monday’s charges.