Funeral home worker accused of fondling body - KPTV - FOX 12

Funeral home worker accused of fondling body

Posted: Updated: April 5, 2012 11:41 PM

A Longview family is suing Columbia Funeral Services, alleging an employee fondled the breasts of a woman while preparing her for cremation.

Lakisha Judge, 25, died in July from complications due to being born with her intestines outside her abdomen.

The lawsuit alleges the male employee "fondled, played and jiggled" Judge's breasts and commented ‘''they are perky'" and "must be implants to look like that."

"I just couldn't believe it," said Teresa Brunelle, Judge's mother. "I just… it was like my body went numb."

A female employee of Columbia Funeral Services told police that she witnessed the male employee do this. The employee told Judge's sister last month.

Brunelle notified Longview police, who conducted an investigation. Det. Steve Dennis said investigators could not substantiate that a crime occurred, but declined to elaborate.

No charges were filed against the employee.

Brunelle said officers told her this is due to the statute for the crime of sexually violating human remains, which requires gratifying the sexual desire of the person.

She filed a lawsuit Thursday, seeking an undetermined amount of money more than $3,000 for "severe emotional distress, outrage and depression as a result of the action of the defendants' actions."

"I mean, she came into the world in distress and suffering," said Brunelle. "For her to die and to have somebody violate her in death is just horrifying. It's just horrifying."

The Washington State Department of Licensing, which licenses funeral homes, is currently investigating Columbia Funeral Services. A spokeswoman said they received a complaint from police, but said she could not discuss specifics.

The employee still works at the funeral home. Norm Nesbit, the owner's son, declined to comment when contacted Thursday.

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