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Alaska Airlines pilot sues airline, alleging that co-pilot drugged and raped her

Alaska Airlines pilot sues airline, alleging that co-pilot drugged and raped her

Postby smix » Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:41 am

Alaska Airlines pilot sues airline, alleging that co-pilot drugged and raped her
ABC News

URL: http://abcnews.go.com/US/alaska-airline ... d=53749199
Category: Aircraft
Published: March 14, 2018

Description: An Alaska Airlines pilot is suing her employer, claiming the airline is liable for the actions of her co-pilot, whom she alleges drugged and raped her in June. Betty Pina, whom the lawsuit describes as a "distinguished military veteran and trained airline pilot" with Alaska Airlines, accused fellow pilot Paul Engelien of drugging and raping her in during an overnight stay in Minneapolis after flying there from Anchorage and then Seattle, according to a complaint for damages filed in the Superior Court of the State of Washington, where the airline is based. Engelien was the captain and Pina was the first officer during the three-day trip, which began on June 4, the complaint states. On the first day, Pine and Engelien "got along really well" because they were "doing a lot of military speak," which helped make Pina "more comfortable," according to a portion of the investigation report ordered by the airline, which is cited in the lawsuit. ABC News did not obtain the report independently. That day, according to the report cited in the complaint, Engelien invited Pina on a hike, suggesting that she talk with the daughter of a longtime family friend, who was interested in learning how to fly. The next day, on June 5, Engelien mentioned that the hotel in Minneapolis had a concierge room where "the crews hang out" that featured wine and pizza for $11, according to the report cited in the lawsuit. After Pina arrived, she drank her "first glass of wine without any problem," according to the report cited in the lawsuit. Engelien then "brought her a second glass of wine," the report states, and she started "having a hard time keeping her head up and things appeared to be closing in." Pina usually has three or four glasses before she is tipsy, according to the report cited in the lawsuit. Engelien allegedly took Pina's glass to refill it, and "the next thing she remembers is waking up and being pulled on her right ankle," the report cited in the lawsuit states. At one point, she thinks she said, "No," before rolling on her side. Pina then told investigators that she remembered waking up in Engelien's room hearing, "We're f-----. We're f-----," as Engelien allegedly explained that he received a phone call saying that a flight attendant saw him walking down the hall "with a girl and two glasses of wine" and didn't feel comfortable flying with him, according to the report cited in the lawsuit. Pina then noticed that she was naked from the waist down and that Engelien had "been in the same bed," noting that "the other bed [did] not look like anyone had laid on it." On one end of the bed, the sheets were crumbled and had vomit on it, as did the wall in the bathroom, according to the report cited in the lawsuit. When Pina got up to vomit, according to the report cited in the lawsuit, she told Engelien, "I've got this," as he tried to hold her hair back. Then, when she went to look for her phone, she was "freaked out" to find her underwear zipped up inside of her purse. Once Pina went back to her room, she realized "the sickness was not a hangover," noting that her muscles, head and stomach hurt and that she was "foggy," the report cited in the lawsuit states. Pina approached Engelien as to what had occurred, and he denied any sexual contact, saying, "You were coming onto me pretty hard," according to the lawsuit. Pina reported the rape to the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), according to the lawsuit, at which point she was taken off "active flight crew." She recently returned to full duty. "To the best of Ms. Pina’s knowledge," Engelien is still employed with Alaska Airlines and "remains a threat to other employees," the complaint alleges. The lawsuit claims that Engelien's actions as the supervising officer on the flight "constitute violations of Washington Laws Against Discrimination, sexual assault and negligence" and that Alaska Airlines is liable for his violations. Alaska Airlines declined to offer a comment to ABC News regarding the lawsuit, stating that the investigation remains "open and active." "The safety and well-being of our employees and guests is a top priority," the airline said. "It is our policy to withhold an employee from work during this type of investigation." Pina did not file a police report on the incident in Minneapolis but did report the assault to the ALPA on June 7, two days after it allegedly took place, her attorney, Eric Makus, told ABC News. Pina is seeking general damages and special damages as well as attorney's fees. ABC News could not immediately reach Engelien, a representative for him or the Air Line Pilots Association for comment. Engelien is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit.
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