Strip-Search Case Closed?


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 "Primetime" spoke with at the Mount Washington, Ky., McDonald's say they recall seeing the warning.

The Trial

Which brings us back to the trial in Bullitt County. David Stewart sat impassively in the courtroom as witnesses recounted the events of that fateful night in April 2004. One by one they took the stand.

Donna Summers stated she was just following instructions. Walter Nix, the man found guilty of sodomy, sat up in his orange prison-issued jumpsuit, described his conversation and told the court that he felt like the caller "had control of his mind."

The jury then witnessed first-hand the ordeal that Louise had gone through as they silently watched the surveillance video, while the detectives described how they were able to track down Stewart using the security camera video from WalMart.

Throughout the trial, defense attorney Steve Romines maintained that police had caught the wrong man.

"They had to get somebody," he said. "When something this, you know, offensive and this happen, you know, we've got to blame it on somebody. It can't be that people just made bad decision. And, you know, David 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 Walmart, 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 bought the phone cards, it does not prove that it was he who 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 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.

"We would have liked to have a guilty verdict in this case, 12 people on the jury said he's not guilty and we respect their decision," a disappointed Detective Stump stated.

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

Meanwhile, Ogborn is suing McDonald's for $200 million, claiming the company didn't protect her from the hoax.

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