Strip-Search Case Victim Awarded $6.1 Million

Donna Summers was fired after the incident. She was charged with unlawful imprisonment, and was sentenced to probation after entering an Alford plea — a type of guilty plea in which a person does not admit guilt, but acknowledges the evidence is sufficient for a conviction. She broke off her engagement to Nix after viewing the surveillance tapes. Summers also sued McDonald's and was awarded $1 million in punitive damages and $100,000 in compensatory damages.

In a statement, McDonald's said, "We take this matter very seriously and through our training try very hard to warn employees about such schemes."

McDonald's training manual does include a section that cautions employees that "no legitimate law enforcement agency would ever ask you to conduct such a search."

But none of the employees ABC News spoke with at the Mount Washington, Ky., McDonald's say they recall seeing the warning.

The Criminal Trial

Before the civil case being decided this week, there was a criminal trial in the fall of 2006. David Stewart was accused of masterminding the bizarre and elaborate hoax and faced a possible 15 years in prison on charges ranging from solicitation of sodomy, to impersonating a police officer. Stewart sat impassively in the courtroom as witnesses recounted the events of that fateful night in April 2004.

The jury then witnessed firsthand the ordeal that Ogborn had gone through as they silently watched the surveillance video. Throughout the trial, defense attorney Steve Romines maintained that police had caught the wrong man, that his client was "the fall guy."

When pressed, during an interview with ABC News, on the issue that there was video of Stewart buying the calling card at a Wal-Mart, Romines replied: "That's the key question, was it him?"

Romines also noted that even if one were to find that it was Stewart who had bought the phone cards, it did not prove that it was he who had made the calls to the fast food establishments.

Then a bombshell in the courtroom: Detectives testified that they had recovered a calling card from Stewart's home that they say had been used to call a Burger King in Idaho — the same restaurant at which a female manager received a call instructing her to strip-search a male employee.

That call had been made nearly a year before the call to the McDonald's in Kentucky. Again, Romines argued that this did not prove that he'd made the calls.

In the end, there apparently wasn't enough evidence to convince the jury. After two hours of deliberations, Stewart was found not guilty on all charges.

One thing to consider: Since Stewart's arrest in June 2004, there have been no reported hoax calls to fast food restaurants.

The Civil Trial

Deliberations began yesterday in the closely watched civil case, after 18 days of testimony. The jury was asked to determine whether McDonald's was responsible for the hoax that victimized Louise Ogborn. If they found McDonald's to be responsible, they were then determine how much of the $200 million Ogborn's lawyers asked for should be awarded in damages.

Ogborn and her lawyers maintained that McDonald's failed to warn their employees about the hoax, even though the caller had successfully pulled off the same scam at dozens of its other franchises across the country.

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