A Temperance man accused of sexually abusing a corpse was found guilty today after he pleaded no contest to the charge.
Lawrence J. Clement, 57, was found guilty of one count of abuse of a corpse by Judge Stacy Cook of Lucas County Common Pleas Court.
Prior to the ruling, Clement’s attorney, Ann Baronas, entered a no contest plea for him, a change from his original plea of not guilty.
Clement was arrested in March and accused of treating the corpse of Brenda Shular-Cameron, who died of multiple organ failure at age 51, “in a way that would outrage reasonable community citizens,” according to Mark Herr, a Lucas County assistant prosecutor.
Clement was found in a compromising position with the corpse at H.H. Birkenkamp Funeral Home, where he worked part-time, and he admitted to having sexual contact with the body, Mr. Herr said today. Authorities previously have said he had “sexual contact by means of touching the erogenous zones” of the victim.
He could face between six months and one year in prison, and fines up to $2,500. Judge Cook set the sentencing for 9:30 a.m. Aug. 7.
Amber Thebeau-Tunison, the victim’s daughter, said while she is thankful Clement was found guilty, she was hoping he would face more serious consequences.
“I think it was a little slap on the hand,” she said. “I would have liked to see it a little higher up on the felonies.”
Ms. Thebeau-Tunison said she plans to return for Clement’s sentencing and will deliver an impact statement detailing how this event has affected her life, especially in regards to her three young children.
“I just tell them somebody did something bad to grandma,” she said. “They ask me what he did and I can’t tell them, I can’t explain it to them and I just tell them he’s a bad man... But it’ll come out soon enough.”
Clement was fired from the company after the incident.