Film re-creates 2004 sexual assault, hoax

Louise Ogborn
Louise Ogborn
Video from the incident.
Video from the incident.
The movie poster.
The movie poster.
The movie poster.
The movie poster.

MT WASHINGTON, KY (WAVE) - An independent film recently released re-creates a strip search ordeal about a young woman sexually assaulted and held for more than three hours on orders of a man who called the restaurant pretending to be a police officer.

It's a bizarre series of events that are depicted in Compliance, a movie based on an incident that occurred in April 2004.

The film captures the anguish Louise Ogborn went through. The 18-year-old claimed she couldn't afford to lose her minimum wage job, so she felt compelled to meet the demands of a caller. The man on the other end of the line claimed to be with Mt. Washington Police. Instead, prosecutors said it was a private prison guard who lived in Florida and made the call from a public telephone.

The movie opens Friday at theaters in Louisville and Mt Washington. Described as a psychological thriller, the film has sparked outrage and anger from the victim's attorney, neighbors and those who've screened it.

"Being humiliated all over again. It's awful," Stacy Helton said, a Mt. Washington resident. Resident Dottie Brown felt the same way, "I don't think anyone should be making money off someone else's pain. She's has to live with that for the rest of her life."

However, film critics across the country are raving. "It's certainly a film that needs to be seen," C.D. Kaplan said, who reviewed the film for public radio affiliate WFBK.

"Psychologically it is fascinating, people who are seemingly good people, would fall prey to the illness of the man who made the call," Kaplan said.

Director Craig Zobel said the film is "based on real events," but the plot and script reflect what actually occurred in the restaurant, according to police reports, court transcripts and a security video.

Ogborn would eventually take McDonald's to court. She received an undisclosed settlement and nearly 10-million in a jury judgment and attorney fees.

During a four-week trial, Ogborn said enough wasn't done to protect her. She took the stand to talk about what happened when the caller directed her manager and the manager's fiance' to strip search her.

Ogborn sued the fast food giant for $200 million, saying the corporation failed to warn managers and employers about other hoax calls dating back to 1994.

Donna Summers was one of the assistant managers who followed the orders of the hoax caller. The caller told Summers that Ogborn was suspected of stealing a purse, and told Summers to detain her and strip search. The requests became increasingly outlandish, including having Ogborn perform aerobics in the nude and culminating in Ogborn performing a sex act on Summers' fiance.

David Stewart, 38, from Fountain Florida, was accused of making the phone call, and was charged with impersonating a police officer, soliciting sodomy and soliciting sexual abuse, but was acquitted in October of 2006.

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