Man Gets 5 Years for Role in Fast-Food Strip Search Ploy

ByABC News

March 15, 2006 — -- Walter Nix was sentenced Wednesday to five years in prison for his role in the bizarre strip search and sexual assault of an 18-year-old McDonald's employee in Mount Washington, Ky.

Nix, a 43-year-old exterminator, pleaded guilty last month to sexual abuse, sexual misconduct and unlawful imprisonment.

In April 2004, the employee, Louise Ogborn, was forced by her manager, Donna Summers, to undergo a strip search at the direction of a man who called the restaurant, claiming to be a police officer. Click here to read Ogborn's story, featured on "Primetime."

As Summers followed the caller's instructions, the demands became more bizarre. The caller told Summers to call her fiancé, Nix, to come watch Ogborn.

Nix was left alone with the teen and proceeded to follow the caller's commands. He ordered Ogborn to drop her apron, bend over and stand on a chair. Ogborn told "Primetime" that Nix then told her to do jumping jacks to shake loose anything she might be hiding.

Ogborn said that when she failed to address Nix as "Sir," the caller told him to hit her violently on the buttocks over and over. Ogborn said that after more than three hours of dehumanizing treatment, Nix -- again on the instructions of the caller -- forced Ogborn to perform a sexual act.

Judge Thomas Waller agreed to a plea deal for Nix in exchange for his testimony against David Stewart, a former Florida prison guard who is accused of making the phone call. He faces trial April 18 on charges of impersonating a police officer and soliciting sodomy.

Summers no longer works for the chain. She has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of criminal confinement and is serving one year of probation.

Nix will have to serve at least two years of his five-year sentence. His attorney, Kathleen Schmidt, said the sentence is too harsh.

"He's been remorseful from day one," said Schmidt. "I mean, he feels terrible about it. His particular, you know, psychological makeup and IQ, the fact that his girlfriend asked him to come help. I mean, it was almost like the perfect storm of things that culminated in him being at the restaurant and following the caller."

But the judge said Nix should have known better.

"The court has had the opportunity in the past to review the video of the acts that were perpetrated on the victim in this case. It is absolutely amazing to me that anyone could commit these kind of acts based on a telephone call," Waller said.

Two other men were called into the room where Ogborn was being held and refused to participate in the caller's demand, according to Ogborn.

Louise Ogborn is suing McDonald's for $31 million, claiming the company didn't protect her from the hoax. The civil trial against the world's largest fast-food chain is set for March 30.

Attorneys for McDonald's say the teen should have realized Stewart was not a police officer and Stewart and Nix are responsible for whatever damages she suffered.

ABC News affiliate WHAS-Louisville and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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