Pilot accused of sexually assaulting co-pilot, airline sued


An Alaska Airlines pilot accused of drugging and raping a female first officer during an overnight flight has been grounded, according to Fox News.

The report says that a male senior pilot is accused of assaulting female first officer Betty Pina on an overnight trip in June 2017.

From the news outlet: The pilot, identified in court documents and confirmed by the airline as Paul Engelien, “is not flying and was taken off the line immediately after learning of the incident,” company spokeswoman Ann Johnson told Fox News via email Thursday, adding, “It is our policy to withhold an employee from work during this type of investigation.”

 While declining to comment on the investigation or lawsuit, Johnson said, “What we can say is that we are taking this matter seriously. The safety and well-being of our employees and guests is a top priority.” 

To date, Pina [is] still employed by and actively working for Alaska Airlines.

According to the report, Pina is a former Army helicopter pilot and she alleges that she met Engelien for the first time on a flight from Anchorage to Seattle to Minneapolis. According to testimony in the lawsuit, Pina and Engelien “got along really well” and agreed to meet up at a concierge room where “the crews hang out” during their stay in Minneapolis.

From Fox: When Pina arrived, she had her “first glass of wine without any problem,” and Engelien then “brought her a second glass of wine” to which Pina began “having a hard time keeping her head up and things appeared to be closing in.” According to the report, Pina typically feels tipsy after three or four glasses of wine, not two.

Engelien allegedly again took Pina’s glass for a refill, and “the next thing she remembers is waking up and being pulled on her right ankle.” She then recalls that she said “No” before rolling over on her side, realizing she was in Engelien’s bedroom, and that she was naked from the waist down.

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