Grand Jury Indicts Airline Passenger Accused Of Groping Girl

An Oregon man accused of groping a 13-year-old girl during an American Airlines flight has been indicted on a charge of abusive sexual contact.

Chad Camp, 26, of Gresham pleaded not guilty at a brief hearing Friday afternoon. U.S. Magistrate Judge Stacie Beckerman scheduled Camp's two-day trial to start Sept. 6 at the federal courthouse in Portland.

Camp's lawyer, Steve Lindsey, told the judge he plans to seek his client's pre-trial release at a later date.

Camp has been in jail since FBI agents arrested him following a June 16 flight from Dallas to Portland International Airport.

The criminal complaint said the unaccompanied minor was sitting in the window seat and Camp took a middle seat. Because the plane wasn't full, a flight attendant suggested Camp move to an empty aisle seat. He declined.

Authorities said a flight attendant later noticed the man's hand in the victim's crotch area, and a tear running down the girl's cheek. The attendant separated the two, sending Camp to the 30th row and the girl to row 8.

A witness told investigators that Camp consumed four mixed drinks in one hour at an airport bar before the flight, and it was revealed in court last month that Camp has a record of substance abuse.

Besides the criminal charge, Camp has been hit with a civil lawsuit. A lawyer representing the girl's family seeks $10 million from Camp and American Airlines, alleging the incident caused the girl extreme fear and psychological trauma.

American Airlines spokesman Matt Miller said after the lawsuit was filed that the airline continues to cooperate with the FBI investigation.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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