CINCINNATI, Ohio (CBS Cleveland) – A morgue attendant has reportedly admitted to having sex with up to 100 female bodies while at work.
“I would just get on top of them and pull my pants down,” Kenneth Douglas, who worked the night shift at the morgue from 1976 to 1992, said in a federal appeals deposition, WCPO reported.
Douglas admitted in court that he sexually abused three corpses while he was on drugs or drunk.
“If I hadn’t had anything to drink when I went to work, it wouldn’t happen,” Douglas reportedly said. “I would do crack and go in and drink and go in.”
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday that Hamilton County can be sued because of his actions and will allow the suit to continue. A jury is deciding whether the former coroner and morgue director failed “recklessly and wantonly” to supervise Douglas.
Evidence was cited by a panel that Douglas’ supervisors knew he was drinking and having sex while on the job.
His wife testified in a deposition that he smelled like sex when she would pick him up from work. She also said that she tried reporting him to the coroner’s office, but the morgue supervisor told her to stop calling.
Douglas was convicted of gross abuse of a corpse in the cases of Charlene Appling, Karen Range and April Hicks in 1991 and 1992.
At the time of her death, Appling, 23, was six months pregnant when she was strangled in 1991. Douglas admitted to having sex with her body on the day that she died. Hicks, 24, died from blunt trauma in 1991 after she fell from a third-story window. A door-to-door salesman murdered Range, 19, in her home in 1992. Her body was nearly decapitated and slashed, WCPO reported.
Douglas’ crimes weren’t known until 2008 when DNA connected him to semen found in Range. He admitted that he had sex with the bodies while they were awaiting autopsies and begin stored.
David Steffen, Range’s killer, admitted that he killed her but denied raping her. In 2008 Douglas pleaded guilty in the Range case and was sentenced to three years in prison, WCPO reported.
In the Appling and Hicks cases, he pleaded guilty again in 2012. That same year the families of the three victims sued the county.
“I can’t explain this at all,” Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said at the time, WCPO reported.
Al Gerhardstein, one of the families’ attorneys, said that the county ignored the warning signs.
“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,” Gerhardstein told WCPO. “Had he been stopped, these women would not have been abused.”