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Alert passenger may have stopped evil sex crime

August 8, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

When a woman passenger on a US domestic flight last Thursday glanced at a man seated in front of her, texting on a large-screen smartphone with an enlarged font, she was horrified to see the conversation he was having.

The man on the Seattle-to-San Jose Southwest Airlines flight was allegedly texting about sexually abusing children. Thinking quickly, the woman used her own phone to photograph and capture his conversation as a record. She then quietly showed cabin crew members, who read it in shock and notified authorities on the ground.

As a result, when the plane touched down, detectives from the San Jose Police Department and agents from the San Francisco Division of the FBI were waiting. They arrested Michael Kellar, 56, and charged him with soliciting a sex crime and attempted child molestation.

Suspects Michael Kellar and Gail Burnworth shown in images posted by the San Jose Police Department

It didn’t stop there. Police swiftly traced the woman he was allegedly texting, Gail Burnworth, 50. She was arrested at her home in Washington and charged with sexually exploiting a minor, child rape and dealing in child pornography.

The San Jose Police Department said two children (ages 5 and 7) have been identified as victims.

A police statement said:

  • Kellar was booked into the Santa Clara County Jail on two counts of Attempted Child Molestation (felony) — 664/288(A) PC and two counts of Solicitation of a Sex Crime (felony) — 653F(C) PC.
  • Burnworth was booked into the Pierce County (WA) Jail for Sexual Exploitation of a Minor (felony) — 9.68A.040 RCW, Rape of a Child 1st Degree (felony) — 9A.44.073 RCW, and Dealing in Depictions of a minor Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct (felony) — 9.68A.050 RCW.

Kellar is being held without bail in California’s Santa Clara County Jail, according to US investigative site Insideedition.com, quoting online records.

Burnworth is being held at the Pierce County Jail in lieu of USD 1 million bail.

Kellar initially protested his innocence and said he was only engaging in role-play and sexual fantasy, Insideedition.com quoted police saying.

Charges remain merely accusations, with suspects and defendants presumed innocent unless and until proved guilty.

Written by Peter Needham

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