Former Lexington Officials Removed From Defendant List In Abuse Case

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Several city officials named as defendants in a lawsuit filed by people who say they were abused by the founder of a Lexington youth program are no longer defendants.

About a dozen names were removed from the defendant list, including former councilman Michael Wilson, former chief of police Larry Walsh and former Lexington Mayors H. Foster Pettit, James Amato, Scotty Baesler and Pam Miller.

It left the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government as the lone defendant in the suit.

District Judge William O. Bertelsman said he agreed with the defendants' arguments that the complaints against them were barred by the statute of limitations.

The lawsuit was filed in 1998 and said the city of Lexington continued to fund the now-defunct Micro-City Government program, though it knew founder Ron Berry was sexually and physically abusing children. Berry, now 62, was convicted in 2000 of 12 counts of third-degree sodomy of a victim younger than 16. He completed a three-year sentence in 2005.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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