The owner of Cincinnati-based Midwest Plastic Systems Co. was charged Feb. 27 with allegedly drugging five women during job interviews and then sexually assaulting them, according to authorities in Hamilton County, Ohio.
Earl Ingels, 51, was indicted on charges of sexual battery, gross sexual imposition and kidnapping and is being held in the county jail. If convicted, he could face more than 50 years in prison.
Jack Rubenstein, Ingels' Cincinnati lawyer, said his client emphatically denies the charges.
``We know of no evidence that supports any of these claims,'' Rubenstein said in a March 2 telephone interview. ``They are difficult charges to defend,'' he added.
Assistant Hamilton County Prosecutor Jennifer Day said that, between July 1994 and November 1997, Ingels is alleged to have interviewed the women in his home for jobs and offered them beverages spiked with a drug that caused them to become unconscious or semiconscious.
``He was sure taking advantage of some people,'' she said.
Bond was set at $50,000. Ingels remained in jail because he was on probation at the time of the alleged offenses for a 1995 conviction of sexual battery in a similar crime, according to Day.
Neither Rubenstein nor Day knew what type of product or services Midwest Plastic provides, though Rubenstein said it is a small operation. There is no directory listing for the firm in Cincinnati.
Ingles' firm in no way is related to a similarly named company, Midwest Plastic Systems Inc. of Piqua, Ohio, which has been in business more than 25 years.
``There is absolutely no affiliation whatsoever,'' said Jack Bell, president of the machinery manufacturers' representative. ``We have no idea what business this fellow was in.''
The case has been assigned to Judge Thomas Crush of Hamilton County Common Pleas Court but no trial date had been set.