Alaska Airlines Inflight Groping Incident Results In Probation For Female Offender

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A female Alaska Airlines passenger who was licking and groping another woman during a flight from Las Vegas to Portland was sentenced in federal court on assault charges.

The passenger who was allegedly intoxicated received eight months home detention, three years probation and has to pay restitution to the victim following the incident.

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas… unfortunately this isn’t going to be the case for the defendant in the case before the District Court in Portland as she pleaded guilty earlier this year to assault with intent to commit a felony.

KOIN 5 from Oregon (access here) reported about it including a Mugshot of the defendant which I won’t feature here.

An Oregon woman who groped another passenger during a flight from Las Vegas to Portland has been sentenced to eight months of home detention. McKinney was arrested May 8, 2016, after the Alaska Airlines flight landed at Portland International Airport. The 19-year-old victim told authorities she had been touched on the breast and genitals without consent by another female passenger.

In addition to home detention, McKinney was sentenced to three years on probation. …

The investigation began on May 8, 2016 when a 19-year-old woman boarded a flight in Las Vegas to come back home to Portland.

The flight was nearly full, with only two open seats being the middle and window seats in the victim’s row. After nearly every passenger was seated, the victim heard two women board the aircraft. The women were described as being “rowdy.”

McKinney, according to court documents, took her seat in the victim’s row and placed her hands on the female passenger’s chest “allowing her hands to linger there uncomfortably.” …

“As the plane took off, things got worse,” court documents state.

The harassment continued. McKinney pressured the victim to drink liquor that she had smuggled onto the plane. When the victim refused, McKinney held the small bottle up to the victim’s face and then threw it on the victim’s lap.

The verbal abuse turned physical when McKinney started licking the victim’s ear, grabbing her hands and attempting to place them on McKinney’s breasts and placing her hands on the victim’s crotch three separate times, according to court documents.

The physical abuse culminated with McKinney “climbing on top of the victim and telling the victim that she wanted to [redacted],” according to court documents. …

Doesn’t sound like a very comfortable flight for anyone surrounding the scene. Not sure if I’m rather shocked or surprised that it even got this far. You’d imagine that under normal circumstances a situation like this would be immediately stopped either by the victim in this case, the crew or passengers around.

Should airlines develop more refined methods to detect intoxicated passengers on the ground or during the boarding process?

Conclusion

Not only is this yet another reflection of how heavy handed airlines should enforce denied boarding for intoxicated passengers (on the ground often hard to detect unless a passenger is really out of control or reeks of alcohol) but also if there is a different standard applied to unruly and over the line female vs male passengers.

The same applies to the plea deal. I highly doubt a situation like this where a male offender groped and licked the body of a female victim would result in a probation sentence. For sure a traumatizing experience for the assaulted passenger and US$3000 sounds rather small for someone who according to court documents boated about her wealth and called the victim ‘poor’. Maybe a civil lawsuit would set her straight.

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  • Adam1222

    8 months house arrest is not “probation” or “a probation sentence.” It is 8 months of detention, followed by 3 years of probation.

    This isn’t a particularly lenient sentence, and plenty of men have received the same or better.

    The title and premise of this post is either clickbait or based under a failure to understand.
    Please educate yourself as to the US criminal justice system before posting.

    • Trevor

      In one county of Oregon this is the definition of “home detention”. I think it’s a pretty lenient sentence designed to save the justice system money and not penalize those that can afford lawyers to advocate for it. But everyone can judge for themselves:

      The Sheriff’s Electronic Home Detention Program is an alternative custody program that allows low-risk inmates to serve the last portion of a jail sentence at home, making more space available in our jail for inmates who pose a greater threat to our community. This program also allows inmates to work and to attend school, medical appointments, and drug, alcohol, and mental health treatment.

      While on Electronic Home Detention, inmates wear an ankle bracelet that allows jail staff to track their movements in the community using the GPS technology. Participants must have a pre-arranged weekly schedule, and must remain within a 50-mile radius of the jail and inside the State of Oregon. Participants are subject to random home visits and cannot live with anyone who is on parole or probation, or with one of their victims. All weapons, alcohol, and illegal drugs must be removed from the residence, and all adults must consent in writing to searches by law enforcement before the inmate starts the program.

      • Adam1222

        Certainly agree there are reasonable arguments why home detention isn’t as punitive as incarceration. But no matter what, it’s more than just probation, which is what both the headline and conclusion of this article state.

  • joe

    Keep in mind the prosecution usually consults the victim on any plea deals. The plea deal keeps the victim from having to testify as well.
    The $3K “restitution” typically covers direct costs, as this is from criminal court.

    I am sure they were awaiting the results (conviction) of the criminal case to then file the civil case and/or settle out of court with the airline. Obviously can also sue the person, but the airline is where the money is. And as this was an escalating situation, where they “eventually” moved the perp, and it is documented in the witness statements, not much room on the facts.
    And to get alcohol on a plane, it is purchased at the airport inside security. So add the airport to the list. This was a domestic flight, so it is not Duty Free purchase.

  • Gary

    I don’t see the relevance of this post to John’s Loyalty Lobby audience’s interests.