I have to say that I pretty disgusted when I read this story out of Daytona Beach involving a funeral home employee who was using his company’s hearse to sexually molest young girls. Apparently, Michael Campbell — who also lists “pastor” as one of his occupations — used his employer’s hearse to transport different underage girls to Daytona-area hotels, as well as his apartment where he would sexually exploit them.
Campbell used a classic, old Hollywood trick — telling the young girls that if they posed for revealing photographs for him, and performed in “skits” with him, they might be discovered and become the next Beyonce or Britney Spears.
Apparently, Campbell used his employer’s hearse as a “set” for a least one photo-shoot with a 15-year old girl, after having the girl help him drop off a dead body at the airport.
My first impression upon reading the story was how creepy it was to use a hearse to lure young girls into this type of activity. To me, it seems like the involvement of the hearse makes these crimes more sinister, somehow.
As an Orlando child sexual abuse lawyer who has handled negligent hiring and negligent supervision cases against organizations like schools, treatment programs, and mentoring programs, I am always sensitive to situations where a professional organization or facility is used by a sexual predator to further his crime. In this instance, it would be interesting to learn how much supervision Mr. Campbell was receiving from his funeral home employer.
For example, did they ask him to account for all of the hours that he had that hearse? Did they ask him why he was transporting 13 and 15-year old girls in the hearse, or why he was taking them with him to drop dead bodies off at the airport? Did Mr. Campbell show any signs that he had some fascination or attraction with very young girls?
In our experience, there is almost always a pattern of behavior leading to these tragic acts — but somebody has to have their eyes open.
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