Avon kidnapping, rape victims sue Wal-Mart for failing to intervene

Police say women were victims of serial rapist

INDIANAPOLIS - The fallout continues from the four-day reign of terror Marion County prosecutors allege Michael Parrish is responsible for.

Two of his victims have now filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart seeking damages in relation to their kidnapping and rape. Prosecutors say the women, who were kidnapped from an Avon Wal-Mart parking lot and then raped, were two of five victimized by Parrish.

In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs say store security followed Parrish's actions through the store via its security cameras, and that, in fact, their security camera captured the kidnapping.

Yet, according to the lawsuit, Wal-Mart failed to intervene, failed to contact police, failed to report criminal activity and failed to render appropriate aid.

The victims' attorney says businesses have a responsibility to safeguard their customers in these circumstances.

"If they know these things take place on their property, they have an obligation under Indiana law to address those and try to deter crime and pay attention to what is going on and act accordingly," said attorney Neil David.

"In Indiana they also have an obligation to come to someone's assistance or rescue if they are in a position of peril."

Wal-Mart would not comment directly on the case, but company spokeswoman Betsy Harden said the company's thoughts were with the women.

"The safety and wellbeing of our customers and associates is always our priority, and we take what has been reported seriously," Harden said.

Harden says Wal-Mart will continue to work with law enforcement in the investigation. No hearings have been set for the civil trial.
 

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