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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