A federal appeals court ruled on Friday that Hamilton County can be sued due to the fact a morgue attendant had sex with up to 100 female corpses while working the night shift.
The man accused of the crimes, Kenneth Douglas, admitted in court that he sexually abused at least three corpses while high on drugs or drunk, but in a deposition he admitted to having sex with up to 100 dead bodies.
In his own words, Douglas told the court: “I would just get on top of them and pull my pants down,” with the abuses taking place between 1976 and 1992.
The court’s concern was that the morgue director failed “recklessly and wantonly” to supervise Douglas, whom he knew was often high on booze and drugs. The families of three victims sued the county in 2012 and Douglas was convicted of gross abuse of a corpse, between 1991 and 1992.
Douglas, whose crimes came to light in 2008, also admitted to having sex with bodies being stored while awaiting autopsies. In 2008, Douglas pleaded guilty in the Range case and was sentenced to three years in prison.
In 2012, he pleaded guilty in the Appling and Hicks cases, and their families sued him in the same year. This is the fourth time Hamilton County was sued for failing to protect corpses under its responsibility.
Douglas told the court: “If I hadn’t had anything to drink when I went to work, it wouldn’t happen. I would do crack and go in and drink and go in.”
According to Al Gerhardstein, one of the victim’s families’ attorneys, the county knew all about what was going on but failed to stop it:
“The county had plenty of notice that Douglas was coming to work and was present at work while he was under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Had he been stopped, these women would not have been abused.”
The county contended that they should not be held liable for Douglas’ actions as the cases involved unknown criminal acts of an employee.