The family of a 13-year-old girl who was travelling as an unaccompanied minor on American Airlines has threatened to sue the company after she was forced to endure what their attorney is describing as “30 minutes of hell” on the flight. During this time, the teen girl was allegedly sexually abused by a man as they traveled from North Texas to Oregon.
The man who sexually abused the 13-year-old girl has been identified as 26-year-old Oregon native Chad Cameron Camp, and according to a criminal complaint filed with the U.S. District Court, the incident occurred on Wednesday. By the time the plane landed in Portland, Oregon, flight attendants had separated Camp from the unaccompanied minor, and he was taken into custody by authorities.
According to the WGNO, the flight attendants should have paid more attention to the unaccompanied minor, especially since the first warning signs of Camp and his devious intentions came before the flight had even taken off. The complaint outlines that although the man was told by the flight attendant from his initial boarding that there were plenty of empty seats to be had, he chose the one beside the 13-year-old, soon starting up small talk with the little girl.
Brent Goodfellow, an attorney representing the family of the girl, spoke to the media regarding how Camp’s sexual abuse has affected the girl.
“This was 30 minutes of hell for this young lady. This girl got abused for 30 minutes and no one was to be found… She is already saying she doesn’t want to be on an airplane ever again. I sat with the family for about three hours … she didn’t want to be touched by her mom, every time she went to give her kind of a loving touch she would jump.”
Camp’s interactions with the girl soon moved from small talk to physical contact with him allegedly nudging her, leaning against her, and throwing his earphones into her lap when she declined his offer of one. The girl says the man had been mumbling to himself and behaving oddly. It was reported that eventually Camp placed his hands on her knee and also her upper thigh, laughing whenever she asked him to stop.
Buzzfeed coverage of the little girl being sexually abused stated that it was not until 30 minutes after the American Airlines flight had left Dallas, Texas, that a flight attendant in the middle of handing out snacks reportedly spotted Chad Camp’s hand near the crotch of the 13-year-old girl. The traumatized girl apparently had “a single tear” rolling down her cheek.
The flight attendant then separated the two, moving the unaccompanied minor up a number of rows while ordering Camp farther back in the aircraft. The captain was then notified. Port of Portland police were contacted, and as soon as the flight landed, the police and the FBI were on hand to arrest the suspect.
The complaint filed against American Airlines said that the little girl was returned to her stepfather at the gate “frightened and crying.”
The family’s lawyer vehemently declined to accept that the flight attendant stopping the groping and fondling was “heroic,” stating that usually any minor infarction to an airline’s rules would immediately get their attention while they allowed a girl to be sexually abused for 30 full minutes. Unaccompanied minors are supposed to receive special attention from flight attendants, with an extra cost of $300.
Chad Cameron Camp has been charged with abusive sexual contact with a minor, to which he pleaded not guilty on Thursday. On Monday, he was ordered by a judge to be held in federal custody and receive a drug treatment evaluation.
American Airlines said that they cannot comment on an ongoing investigation but released a statement saying that they were cooperating with it.
“American cares deeply about our young passengers and is committed to providing a safe and pleasant travel experience for them. We take these matters very seriously and have cooperated fully and immediately with law enforcement officials in their investigation of the suspect. Due to the pending criminal case against the suspect, we are referring all questions to law enforcement.”
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