Wednesday, November 01, 2006

He sounded like a cop

Mills of the gods

Kentucky has a few things to be proud of. Bourbon whiskey is a delightful product. I enjoy the Kentucky Derby each and every year and hope to attend some day. The Kentucky Wildcats have a fantastic basketball program. Kentucky Fried Chicken is finger licking good, despite the fact that they knuckled under to the New York City Public Health Food Nazis this week and agreed to stop frying in trans fats. But other than these things, the Blue Grass state is mostly off of my radar. So it was a surprise to me that the most intriguing legal story of the day comes out of Kentucky.

A man out there was acquitted yesterday of charges of impersonating a police officer, soliciting sodomy and soliciting sexual abuse. Interstingly, the man was from Florida. Why he chose Kentucky, if indeed he was involved, is anyone's guess. Perhaps he had an insight to the naivitee of the Kentuckians. What happened was that someone (Police said this Florida dude) called a McDonalds in Louisville, claiming to be the Police, and demanding that an 18 year old female employee be strip searched in order to "prove" that she had not stolen from the store. The vicitim testified that she was forced to perform sexual acts on the assistant manager's boyfriend during the course of the 3 and a half hour phone conversation. The assistant manager's boyfriend is currently spending five years as a fully paid guest of the Commonewealth of Kentucky at one of their fine incarceration centers.

Now this story may say more about the gene pool of Kentucky than anything else (although it says something about Kentucky criminal law if you only get five years for forced sodomy out there) because I can't imagine an employee, even in Kentucky, agreeing to go along with a strip search involving the assistant manager's boyfriend, based on a "phone call from the police" requesting a strip search. Put yourself in her position. You are just emptying a basket of fries (loaded with trans fats, which McDonalds pledged to drop in 2004, but never have) and McDonalds store management comes over and says. The police are on the phone. They insist that you be strip searched, by my boyfriend.

Maybe I'm the naive one, but I would have a hard time believing that story. The young woman is suing McDonalds for two hundred million dollars for not protecting her from what the Associated Press called a "hoax". As an aside here, I would think the A.P., even striving to be objective, would come up with a little stronger word that "hoax" which sounds like someone soaped a neighbor's windows. "Rape" comes to mind, but then again, I'm no reporter. But back to the $200 million dollars.McDonald's says that the victim should have realized that the person on the phone was not a cop. I don't know. McDonalds has about $200 million reasons to say that. But I really have trouble with the idea that anyone would believe much of this.

What I really have trouble with is the whole sordid affair. Who in the world would have come up with an idea like this ? My bet is the assistant manager's boyfriend. Why in the world would the assistant manager play along ? How could they get this Florida guy to make the call ? How could he stay on the phone for three and a half hours through this ? Where in the world at a McDonalds could all of this be going on ? Who was making int Big Macs and working the register ? This is a story with way more questions than answers, and deserves further study, which I plan on doing if it turns out that Kentucky has any newspapers.

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