Closing Arguments Set For Tuesday In Strip Search Trial - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Closing Arguments Set For Tuesday In Strip Search Trial

By Anne Marshall

(SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky.) -- On Friday defense attorneys for David Stewart called four witnesses to show he didn't make the call that led to a Mt. Washington McDonald's worker being strip searched in 2004. A manager at the store and her fiance say they were following commands from the caller who had identified himself as a police officer when they abused 18-year-old Louise Ogborn. WAVE 3's Anne Marshall has the latest.

Ogborn has testified that the caller accused her of theft and she was forced to remove her clothes to prove her innocence. Prosecutors say the call lasted 3-1/2 hours and during it, the victim was forced to perform sexual acts on the boyfriend of the store's assistant manager in the restaurant office.

On Thursday prosecutors showed surveillance pictures of a man buying the calling card used to place the phone call to the McDonald's. They say it's David Stewart, and that he made the three-and-a-half-hour phone call from a Florida payphone.

But Stewart's attorney, Steve Romines, spent the day casting doubt on that theory.

Witnesses for the defense not only questioned where the call allegedly came from, but why it was made.

Tom Simms, a maintenance worker at the McDonald's where the abuse occurred, says when he was in the office where Ogborn was being strip searched and abused, the teen was on the phone, and did not seem to be looking for a way out, but rather an outcome.

"I heard her say she's going to get a big check or a bunch of money," Simms said.

Simms also says Ogborn made a statement to the caller referencing him. "She said: 'Tom won't go for that.'"

Prosecutors say Simms never told anyone about this until after he had been interviewed by corporate investigators for McDonald's.

Also Friday, Romines called lead detective Buddy Stump's investigation into the incident incomplete. Romines says 15 minutes after the Mt. Washington call on April 9, 2004, a similar call was made to a Hillview McDonald's from the same calling card, but it was never investigated.

On the stand, Stump testified that he didn't remember if he interviewed anyone in connection with that second phone call. He did say that another officer told him he thought it was a scam, but he never investigated whether the case might have been a setup involving the victim.

"I don't know if it's a scam or not," Stump said Friday. "I can't figure that out."

Stewart, 38, of Fountain, Fla., is charged with impersonating a police officer, soliciting sodomy and three counts of soliciting sexual abuse.

With closing arguments set for Tuesday, he's one step closer to knowing if he'll walk away a free man.

Ogborn is suing McDonald's for $200 million in a separate civil lawsuit.

Online Reporter: Anne Marshall

Online Producer: Michael Dever

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