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Girl allegedly molested on Delta flight (Freep a Poll)
Atlanta Journal-Constitution ^ | 10/11/07 | D.L. BENNETT

Posted on 10/12/2007 5:46:32 AM PDT by Sopater

An 11-year-old Alabama girl flying alone from San Diego to Atlanta says a man slipped into the empty seat beside her and sexually molested her on a crowded Delta jet.

The disturbing charges were made public in a lawsuit filed last week in Fulton County State Court could make parents think twice before placing any unescorted child on a bus, plane or train. The suit seeks unspecified damages.

Delta, with more than 1,000 flights a day leaving Atlanta alone, estimates it carries thousands of unescorted young fliers a year.

Savannah lawyer Mark Tate, who is representing the family, said the girl, whose name was withheld in the lawsuit, was traumatized by the incident.

Although the girl reported the incident to her mother when she got off the plane, Tate said no criminal charges have been filed and no suspect identified. The mother took the report to Huntsville police, Atlanta police and eventually the FBI.

"Delta has a very high burden to meet in protecting passengers," said Tate. "We feel Delta didn't meet that. This little girl is not doing well. It's caused severe problems."

Airline officials refused to directly address the charges in the lawsuit.

(Excerpt) Read more at ajc.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
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There is a poll on the website asking if you think it's safe for children to fly by themselves.

Results as of 7:46AM Central Time:

Yes 25.75% 1259 No 74.25% 3630

1 posted on 10/12/2007 5:46:35 AM PDT by Sopater
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To: Sopater

Cha-ching cha-ching cha-ching.


2 posted on 10/12/2007 5:48:05 AM PDT by Perdogg (Join the NCAA basketball thread - Freemail me)
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To: Perdogg

How does freep want me to vote?


3 posted on 10/12/2007 5:50:21 AM PDT by gun_supporter
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To: Sopater

Was the person on the adjacent seat asleep during this alleged incident. I need to have more info on this before I leave my highly regarded opinion


4 posted on 10/12/2007 5:50:32 AM PDT by shadeaud
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To: Perdogg

Which is why they don’t go after the perv.


5 posted on 10/12/2007 5:50:37 AM PDT by thulldud
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To: Sopater

She just sat there and let it happen? I suppose that’s possible but something doesn’t sound right.


6 posted on 10/12/2007 5:51:05 AM PDT by tsmith130
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To: Sopater
a man slipped into the empty seat beside her . . . .on a crowded Delta jet.

I am finding dissonance in the story already. Crowded? Empty Seat? Flight Attendants walking through the isles. People in fron and in back of her. She says nothing, does nothing, can't identify the passenger but they are sueing the airline?

I would love to give her the but if it looks like a duck and is quacking well . . .

7 posted on 10/12/2007 5:51:53 AM PDT by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit (Everyone wants a simple answer; but sometimes there isn't a simple answer)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

Not buying this story at all.


8 posted on 10/12/2007 5:53:15 AM PDT by Suzy Quzy (Hillary '08...Her PHONINESS is REAL!!!)
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To: Sopater

Any parent who would allow a female child to fly alone and unattended should be prosecuted for child abuse.


9 posted on 10/12/2007 5:56:12 AM PDT by glide625
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To: Sopater

What a splendiferous COS! This is extortion by lawsuit. What PROOF, other than an 11YO’s word and her $$mother$$ do they have?


10 posted on 10/12/2007 5:59:41 AM PDT by dbacks (I forgot to pay the rent on my tagline.)
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To: Sopater

I’d never send my pre-teen on a flight alone. Forgetting this article, there are too many possibilities of them not getting to their destination and ending up in a strange city with no one but a stranger to look out for them.


11 posted on 10/12/2007 6:01:13 AM PDT by SampleMan (Islamic tolerance is practiced by killing you last.)
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To: glide625

[Any parent who would allow a female child to fly alone and unattended should be prosecuted for child abuse.]

??


12 posted on 10/12/2007 6:01:50 AM PDT by dbacks (I forgot to pay the rent on my tagline.)
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To: Perdogg

“Cha-ching cha-ching cha-ching.”

Oh yeah.

“Northwest Airlines paid more than $500,000 to a girl who claimed she was repeatedly sexually molested by a man seated next to her on a flight from Kansas City, Mo., to Detroit Metropolitan Airport in 2001.”


13 posted on 10/12/2007 6:01:54 AM PDT by L98Fiero (A fool who'll waste his life, God rest his guts.)
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To: dbacks

Actually, it’s not as uncommon as one would think, and it happens to adult women as well. Keep in mind, this was a “redeye” flight, so the flight attendants are usually in the galleys and the lights are dimmed. I’m not jumping on either bandwagon, but things like this do happen, and not just to kids.


14 posted on 10/12/2007 6:02:17 AM PDT by OCCASparky (Steely-Eyed Killer of the Deep)
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To: dbacks

“This is extortion by lawsuit. What PROOF, other than an 11YO’s word and her $$mother$$ do they have?”

- Why am I reminded of the old, “ I found a dead mouse in my coke” lawsuit?


15 posted on 10/12/2007 6:03:11 AM PDT by finnigan2
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To: glide625

I would assume she was turned over to the flight crew, who would have kept an eye on her and ensured she was returned to an adult on the other side.

Generally you wouldn’t expect any trouble DURING the flight, since you are in a crowded room and the attendents are there to keep the peace. But if someone doesn’t say anything in the middle of an airplane, what’s to keep her from being attacked at school, at a movie theatre, or a playground?

At 11 years old, the parents are not stuck to her side any more.

I’m not passing judgment on this particular case, I’m saying that there’s no reason why an 11-year-old can’t fly unescorted. You just need an adult on either side, and to use the airline’s child transport program.


16 posted on 10/12/2007 6:03:25 AM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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To: glide625
"Any parent who would allow a female child to fly alone and unattended should be prosecuted for child abuse."

You're joking right? It's not like this girl was hitchhiking her way to her destination. Are you usually this quick to take children from their parents?
17 posted on 10/12/2007 6:05:08 AM PDT by tfecw (It's for the children)
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To: Sopater
So. . .the attendant didn't check on this child? No one in any of the seats around the girl was unself-absorbed enough to notice anything out of the ordinary?

What a world.

18 posted on 10/12/2007 6:05:28 AM PDT by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)
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To: Sopater
Look folks, I’m a divorced father of two and the only way I could see my kids was to fly them to where I was.

I never used Delta because of other issues, but if this turns out to be true, why wasn’t a flight attendant with the child?

On other airlines with unescorted minors, they are placed in a segregated row; no adults allowed.

Those are the airlines I used to use.

19 posted on 10/12/2007 6:06:14 AM PDT by Freeport
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To: Sopater

When I was 14 years old, flying alone(can’t remember whether it was AA or Delta)and a man tried to get me to get off the plane with him in New Orleans. We were headed for Atlanta.

That was a long, long time ago. As you can see I did not go. My parents were absolutely livid with anger. I am not sure what they told the airlines; but it never happened again.


20 posted on 10/12/2007 6:11:47 AM PDT by freekitty ((May the eagles long fly our beautiful and free American sky.))
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To: Freeport

I don’t know if it’s my children’s personalities or the way I raised them, or both, but my kids just don’t fall for stuff like this. They’d have raised the roof of the plane if someone tried to touch them.


21 posted on 10/12/2007 6:19:07 AM PDT by Shimmer
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To: Freeport
Good question. You pay a surcharge when a minor flies alone. What do you get for that money?

why wasn’t a flight attendant with the child?

22 posted on 10/12/2007 6:19:10 AM PDT by DManA
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To: Sopater

Flying (Conair) aint what it used to be...


23 posted on 10/12/2007 6:19:18 AM PDT by GoShow
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Comment #24 Removed by Moderator

To: glide625

I let my child fly back and forth to see her grandparents starting when she was about that age. If any man had tried to touch her inappropriately the whole plane would have watched while she took her big heavy riding boots and jumped up and down on his face. No one messes with her, then or now.


25 posted on 10/12/2007 6:26:57 AM PDT by Fairview ( Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.)
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To: tsmith130

Indeed, I suspect there is a bit of fiction to this story. Our son flew NW Airlines to meet grandma a dozen times. The airline staff always placed him at the front of the airplane where they could keep an eye on him. I don’t believe Delta would do anything different.


26 posted on 10/12/2007 6:30:12 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (Go Hawks !)
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To: Freeport
On other airlines with unescorted minors, they are placed in a segregated row; no adults allowed.

So what, if there aren't enough unaccompanied minors to fill a row, they leave an adult or two standing at the gate and fly with the seats empty? No airline has such a rule. Many of them have seats that are set aside for kids traveling alone, but those are released on the day of travel to anyone who wants them if there aren't kids in them.

27 posted on 10/12/2007 6:34:59 AM PDT by xjcsa (Defenseless enemies are fun.)
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To: DManA
Good question. You pay a surcharge when a minor flies alone. What do you get for that money?

why wasn’t a flight attendant with the child?

The flight attendant can't stay next to the child for the entire flight, although they should be checking on the child regularly. They money charged for the service is for the extra labor needed at the airport and for the, ahem, liability involved.

28 posted on 10/12/2007 6:37:01 AM PDT by xjcsa (Defenseless enemies are fun.)
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To: tsmith130

>> She just sat there and let it happen? I suppose that’s possible but something doesn’t sound right.

I think it’s unlikely in any case that someone would get away with this... more likely on an /uncrowded/ flight, actually.

Plus, it’s not like they don’t know who was in the seat next to her! And it’s not someone who changed seats — the flight was crowded, remember?

My BS meter is reading at the high end also. I think it’s yet another money grab by yet another slimeball lawyer.


29 posted on 10/12/2007 6:37:54 AM PDT by Nervous Tick
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To: xjcsa

*The* money charged...not sure where the ‘y’ came from.


30 posted on 10/12/2007 6:38:04 AM PDT by xjcsa (Defenseless enemies are fun.)
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To: L98Fiero

That one struck me. I have done that flight (more often than I want to count....) and it’s just not that long for much to happen “repeatedly”.

I’m just saying.....


31 posted on 10/12/2007 6:38:24 AM PDT by trimom
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To: Sopater

My son, now 18 has flown to Orlando alone since he was 14. We had to pay an extra fee to have him escorted by flight attendants. There is no excuse for this. When he arrives to his destination they check the ID’s of his his grammie and pappie. They were very strict about it. This is SouthWest btw.


32 posted on 10/12/2007 6:38:33 AM PDT by meanie monster
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To: Sopater
There is a poll on the website asking if you think it's safe for children to fly by themselves.

HOW STUPID CAN YOU BE, OBVIOUSLY, THIS GIRL BEING MOLESTED MEANS IT'S NOT SAFE, IT SHOULD ALSO POINT OUT HOW MANY PREDITOR'S THERE ARE, THEY ARE EVERYWHERE. HOW COULD THOSE IDIOTS VOTE YES, IT'S SAFE?
33 posted on 10/12/2007 6:40:04 AM PDT by Scythian
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To: xjcsa

Since the customer pays for the airline’s liability insurance, we shouldn’t feel bad when the customer makes a, ahem, claim.


34 posted on 10/12/2007 6:40:44 AM PDT by DManA
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To: glide625
Well come and trundle me off to the hoosegow then.

I let my pre-teen daughter fly alone to Florida, where she was met by aunt and uncle. She flew Southwest, and I met with the flight attendant whose care she was in, who allayed my fears by assuring me she would not leave my child's side until she deposited her into her aunt's arms. Emily sat with the flight attendant in the bulkhead row. I must confess, I'd have second thoughts now though. Still, don't be so quick to judge.

35 posted on 10/12/2007 6:44:13 AM PDT by ariamne (Proud shieldmaiden of the infidel--never forget, never forgive 9/11)
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To: Suzy Quzy
Not buying this story at all.

Sounds like somebody wants a big payday...

36 posted on 10/12/2007 6:45:08 AM PDT by johnny7 ("But that one on the far left... he had crazy eyes")
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To: Sopater

This is an awful thing to happen to the child, but how is Delta supposed to stop perverts from flying?


37 posted on 10/12/2007 6:49:46 AM PDT by popdonnelly (Get Reid. Salazar, and Harkin out of the Senate.)
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To: FrPR
There was one named “Dotty” on the Washington/National - Newark shuttle, I’ll never forget her...

I think I saw that movie. Cue the soundtrack...Boom chaucka chaucka waa waa!

38 posted on 10/12/2007 6:51:21 AM PDT by TankerKC (32570 21R)
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To: tsmith130

I’m finding this extremely hard to believe.

I first flew alone when I was nine years old (made my connection through Dallas/Ft. Worth on my own as well, thank you very much) and even at that age I wouldn’t have put up with that kind of nonsense for a flat second.

If there’s ever a time for a kid to scream bloody murder that’s it.


39 posted on 10/12/2007 6:51:54 AM PDT by Shion (Hunter 2008! www.gohunter08.com)
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To: Sopater
First off, it’s not SAFE to do much of anything. It’s dangerous to fly, more dangerous to drive, and dangerous to send your kids to school. Even having kids is dangerous (the the mother). Nothing is SAFE. I believe it is SAFE ENOUGH to let an 11 year old kid fly alone. Air travel is very safe, both in terms to transportation accidents, and the danger of abduction or assault, because there are lots of people around whose job it is to keep it safe (including flight attendants). To the extent that this story is accurate, it is highly unusual, which is why it make the news. For every child or woman this has happened to, hundreds have flown safely. All of this can be reduced to a game of odds, risk, and severity of injury.

There are things people can do to reduce their chance of harm. If you wear a seat belt on a plan, you greatly reduce your risk of in flight injury. If you yell when a stranger touches you in appropriately on a plane, you greatly reduce the risk you will be sexually assaulted.

I’m in no way blaming the victim, but when I was a kid, I was told to yell for help and run away if I was in danger. There must have been at least three or more flight attendants on that plan, and plenty of passengers who would have come to this girls rescue if she yelled for help.

40 posted on 10/12/2007 6:56:20 AM PDT by NYFriend
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To: DManA
Since the customer pays for the airline’s liability insurance, we shouldn’t feel bad when the customer makes a, ahem, claim.

Agreed - if the facts of this story are as described, Delta clearly has significant liability here and deserves what they get. I was just trying to clarify how these programs work, as I have significant background in this area.

41 posted on 10/12/2007 6:56:53 AM PDT by xjcsa (Defenseless enemies are fun.)
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Comment #42 Removed by Moderator

To: NYFriend
I’m in no way blaming the victim, but when I was a kid,...

Alleged victim...based on the meager facts presented here.

43 posted on 10/12/2007 7:01:57 AM PDT by tsmith130
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To: xjcsa
That is an implicit limitation of this forum. We can only comment on what is on the table.

if the facts of this story are as described

44 posted on 10/12/2007 7:02:02 AM PDT by DManA
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To: TankerKC
There was one named “Dotty” on the Washington/National - Newark shuttle, I’ll never forget her... I think I saw that movie. Cue the soundtrack...Boom chaucka chaucka waa waa!

Dear Penthouse...

45 posted on 10/12/2007 7:06:40 AM PDT by cspackler (There are 10 kinds of people in this world, those who understand binary and those who don't.)
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To: tsmith130
I would hope my children would scream but you don’t know what on earth he said to her. In the past when I had two of my children on a flight I made sure the airline had an attendant watching over them. Now we don’t fly. But I would never ever allow my daughter to fly alone for any reason.
46 posted on 10/12/2007 7:07:37 AM PDT by pandoraou812 ( zero tolerance to the will of Allah & Muslims ...... dilligaf? with an efg.....)
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To: thulldud

Which is why they don’t go after the perv.

THAT is my question. I think it’s time for video cams on airlines.


47 posted on 10/12/2007 7:12:55 AM PDT by Dudoight
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To: glide625
Any parent who would allow a female child to fly alone and unattended should be prosecuted for child abuse.

Twaddle!

My daughter started flying by herself when she was seven years old. When she was 11 she flew to Europe by herself. These were visits to family members (grandparents, aunts). Probably until her teens she flew as an "unaccompanied minor," which means the airline was acting in loco parentis. They did look after her from all I could tell. Once a teen, she made these trips without bothering for special status. I'm not sure how airlines are much different from any other situation where a kid is separated from his/her parents. The confidence my daughter gained from these trips is unmeasurable. It was one of the things she wrote about on the only college application she ever made. (University of Virginia)

ML/NJ

48 posted on 10/12/2007 7:15:04 AM PDT by ml/nj
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To: pandoraou812
I would hope my children would scream but you don’t know what on earth he said to her.

Said to her?! There is absolutely NOTHING that he could have said to my daughter that would make her allow him to sexually molester her!! NADA-ZIP-ZILCH!

49 posted on 10/12/2007 7:17:45 AM PDT by tsmith130
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To: meanie monster

Same here with my kids (12 and 10) on USA3000 to Ft. Myers to see their grandparents. I pay a surcharge and an attendant keeps an eye on them and walks them off the plane to an me/grandparents.


50 posted on 10/12/2007 7:22:22 AM PDT by day10 (Rules cannot substitute for character.)
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