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Man accused of assaulting 13-year-old passenger on American Airlines flight

mfaulkner@star-telegram.com

A 26-year-old male passenger faces a federal charge of abusive sexual contact after flight attendants and an unaccompanied 13-year-old girl reported that he touched the girl inappropriately on an American Airlines flight from Dallas/Fort Worth Airport to Portland, Ore., last week.

According to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. district court in Portland, Chad Cameron Camp repeatedly touched the unaccompanied minor during the first 20 minutes of Flight 2267 on Wednesday. Camp placed his hand on her thigh at least three times, it said.

After a flight attendant observed Camp’s hand on the “victim’s crotch area,” the attendant told Camp to change seats. The girl was moved to a seat further up in the plane; Camp was moved to the back. The captain of the flight was informed immediately.

“The victim stated she could sense ‘something was up’ after the repeated touching and invasions to her personal space,” the complaint said. “She was frightened and felt trapped.”

At a detention hearing Monday, Camp was ordered to remain in custody “as a danger to the community” and as a flight risk. Arraignment was set for July 15.

The complaint did not record Camp’s town of residence.

The girl’s mother told NBC News that the teen flew from San Antonio to Dallas and then on to Portland, returning to her mom and stepfather’s home.

“We’re angry at him. We’re angry at the airline. We’re angry this happened to our child,” the mother said.

A witness interviewed by Portland authorities said Camp had consumed several alcoholic drinks at a bar at the terminal before the flight departed.

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“American cares deeply about our young passengers and is committed to providing a safe and pleasant travel experience for them,” American spokesman Ross Feinstein said. “We take these matters very seriously and have cooperated fully and immediately with law enforcement officials in their investigation of the suspect.”

Feinstein declined to comment further because of the criminal case pending against Camp.

American charges $150 for unaccompanied minors to fly on the Fort Worth-based airline and does not allow children under the age of 5 to travel alone. Minors between 15 and 17 are not required to use the accompanied minors service.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. airlines do not have restrictions when it comes to allowing children ages 12 to 17 to fly on domestic flights.

“Airlines try to do everything necessary to make your child’s trip safe and comfortable,” the DOT says in an informational pamphlet. “However, you should understand that unaccompanied-minor services do not include constant supervision or entertainment during the flight.”

Andrea Ahles: 817-390-7631, @Sky_Talk

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