In the latest in-flight sexual molestation incident to gain media attention, a 13-year-old girl travelling alone was allegedly molested by a man who insisted on sitting next to her, though there were other seats available.
Chad Cameron Camp, 26, was arrested after the incident on a flight from Dallas to Portland, Oregon on Wednesday night, according to a criminal complaint filed in the US District Court and reported by CNN.
According to the complaint, even though a flight attendant had advised Camp that other seats were available, he sat in a middle seat next to a 13-year-old girl who was travelling solo.
After striking up conversation with the girl sitting next to him, Camp is alleged to have leaned against the teen, nudged her, touched her with his elbow and then placed his hands on her knee and upper thigh three times.
The alert was raised after a flight attendant distributing snacks noticed a tear running down the girl’s cheek and saw Camp’s hand near the girl’s crotch, the complaint states. The flight attendant ordered Camp to change seats and moved the girl up several rows so they were well separated. The attendant then notified the captain.
The captain radioed ahead to alert Portland Police, who informed the FBI. Officers from both forces were waiting for Camp when the plane landed. He was arrested, is currently in jail afer a court refused him bail, and is due back in court Monday afternoon charged with abusive sexual contact.
The girl felt trapped and never wants to fly again, a lawyer for the family told CNN.
The case has aroused much comment in the US because American Airlines charges an additional USD 150 to carry unaccompanied minors. The fee ensures “your child is boarded onto the aircraft, introduced to the flight attendant, chaperoned during connections and released to the appropriate person at their destination,” the airline’s website says.
“American cares deeply about our young passengers and is committed to providing a safe and pleasant travel experience for them,” American Airlines said in a statement issued to media after the incident.
“We take these matters very seriously and have cooperated fully and immediately with law enforcement officials in their investigation of the suspect.”
Written by Peter Needham