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US court OKs trial in Ohio corpse abuse lawsuit

Published: August 15, 2014 3:05 PM

CINCINNATI (AP) — A federal appeals court has ruled a lawsuit can go forward against officials in a southwest Ohio county where a morgue attendant sexually abused three female corpses.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel on Friday said a jury might conclude the Hamilton County defendants, including the former coroner and morgue director, failed “recklessly and wantonly” to supervise the morgue attendant. They cited evidence that supervisors were aware Kenneth Douglas was drinking and having sex with live women while on the job.

Douglas was convicted of gross abuse of a corpse.

The appeals panel opinion upholds earlier rulings by a lower court, including rejecting federal constitutional violation claims by relatives of the women whose corpses were abused.

A county prosecutor’s spokeswoman says that office is reviewing the opinion.


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