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Drunken Female Passenger Admits Groping Woman on Alaska Airlines Flight

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Heidi McKinney was heavily intoxicated at the time of the incident and has pleaded guilty to assault.

An Alaska Airlines passenger who has admitted to touching a female traveler without her consent may now face prison time for her actions. In an incident which took place on a flight from Las Vegas to Portland, Oregon in May of 2016, the Independent reports that assailant Heidi McKinney touched the unnamed female passenger “after drinking heavily”.

The woman assaulted by McKinney told authorities that the 27-year-old had groped her breast and genitals during the course of the flight. While McKinney, who was convicted of drunk driving in 2008 and again in 2015, originally faced charges for abusive sexual contact, the Standard reports that she “ultimately pleaded guilty to assault with the intent to commit a felony”.

Speaking of McKinney’s actions, assistant U.S. attorney Ravi Sinha said in court proceedings in Portland that the Oregon resident acted so as to “humiliate and harass the victim.” Sinha was quoted by the outlet as saying that during the course of the incident, McKinney “both made contact with victim’s body, including her inner thigh, and made a series of profane and lewd statements to the victim.”

If convicted, McKinney could face a decade in a federal prison as well as a fine of $250,000. But her defense team is petitioning the judge for a three-year probationary sentence. This decision of whether or not to accept the recommendation would be at the judge’s discretion.

The Standard also reports that McKinney’s fiancee has spoken to court authorities regarding her behavior after the incident. He explained that McKinney’s body cannot metabolize alcohol normally and reportedly told officials that “this is what happens.”

McKinney, who is currently not in custody, will be sentenced on June 19.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

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bsmits March 30, 2017

'He explained that McKinney’s body cannot metabolize alcohol normally and reportedly told officials that “this is what happens.”' I would say that's aggravating rather than mitigating -- if you're aware you can't handle alcohol (or any other substance) and you have it anyway, don't expect others to feel sorry for you when things turn bad for you.

AllieKat March 29, 2017

Absolutely sickening excuse and an example of just how bad the rape culture we are surrounded by is. She thinks she'd defending herself by saying "this is what happens" when she drinks? If you know alcohol makes you want to molest people, you should know better than to ever drink a single drop of the stuff! Lock her up...