Saturday, June 4, 2016

King Salmon pilot accused of sexually abusing girl midflight

Kathryn's Report:

A 37-year-old King Salmon pilot faces charges of child sex abuse for incidents involving a teenage girl, some of which happened during flights over the Alaska Peninsula.

Robert J. May has been charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse of a minor, as well as charges of reckless endangerment and reckless operation of an aircraft.

May is the owner and operator of RJ Aviation, an air taxi service based in King Salmon. State records show his business has been licensed since 2011.

The charges say May also made sexual advances toward another woman. Assistant District Attorney James Klugman urged people with relevant information to call the troopers in King Salmon.

Trooper Alfred Borrego wrote in the charges against May that he started an investigation in Oct. 2015 when he heard about "sexual improprieties" involving the business owner.

An initial alleged incident involved a female passenger from Minnesota. During a flight between King Salmon and Anchorage, May placed his hands on the woman's thigh, requested naked pictures of her, and also asked if she wanted to join the "Mile-High Club," the charges say.

Borrego continued to investigate and found May could have been involved in a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl. Follow-up interviews with the girl uncovered incidents in King Salmon and Anchorage, and two on flights along the peninsula, according to the charges.

One of the in-flight incidents happened in May's Cessna 182, prosecutors said. The girl told troopers May "placed his aircraft on auto-pilot (and) entered the rear seat compartment of the aircraft where they both engaged in sexual intercourse …" the charges say.

During the most recent incident listed in the charges, May once again left the pilot seat and sexually abused the girl. He also is accused of filming part of that incident.

The five counts of second-degree sex abuse filed against May each carry a presumptive sentence range of five to 15 years, Klugman said.

Online court records show May made an initial court appearance at the Naknek Courthouse on Sunday. His bail was set at $100,000, and he is now in custody at the Anchorage jail, Klugman said.

The state is uncertain if it will move to seize the plane involved in the alleged abuse. Property forfeiture laws governing sex offenses allow for the seizure of things like computers and cameras, items typically associated with child porn, Klugman said. Prosecutors may opt to apply more general forfeiture laws, but not at this time, he said.

"That will depend on how things play down the road," Klugman said.

Original article can be found here:

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