Supervisors failed to protect the dead from man who may have raped up to 100 corpses: lawsuit
On Friday, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a lawsuit against the Hamilton County coroner and morgue director for failing to stop an employee from having sex with up to 100 corpses could proceed, WCPO reports.
Kenneth Douglas confessed in a deposition to having sex with the corpses of three women while he was employed at the county morgue. When asked how many other corpses he had sex with, he replied, “I don’t know — it could be a hundred.”
He said that he would arrive at work high or drunk, and molest the bodies of murder victims when left alone with them on the night shift. “I would just get on top of them and pull my pants down,” he said in a video deposition.
His wife testified that she informed Douglas’ supervisors that when she picked him up from work, he often “reeked” of sex and alcohol.
The families of the women whose bodies he abused want to sue those in charge of Douglas for failing to supervise him adequately. According to the ruling, morgue director Bernard Kersker, morgue administrator Carol Maratea, and coroner Frank Cleveland all knew — or had reason to know — that Douglas was abusing bodies for years and did nothing to stop it.
Douglas was caught after he abused the body of murder victim Karen Range. The man convicted of killing her, David J. Steffen, insisted that he did not rape her despite the fact that semen was found on her body. When that semen was finally tested in 2008, it matched Douglas, who confessed to having defiled her corpse.
He is currently serving a pair of 3-year sentences for gross abuse of a corpse convictions.
Watch WCPO 9’s report on the lawsuit below.