Ceilidh From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (13 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1778 times:
DETROIT, Michigan (CNN) -- Northwest Airlines and the FBI are investigating charges that a 10-year-old girl traveling alone on a flight was molested by another passenger.
The girl, who is from Bay City, Michigan, was traveling as an unaccompanied minor August 4 on Northwest Flight 1186 from Kansas City, Missouri, to Detroit.
After departing the plane in Detroit, she immediately told her mother and stepfather that a man sitting next to her on the plane had touched her inappropriately. The girl then pointed out the man to airport authorities as he was waiting to board a flight to Amsterdam, Netherlands, said FBI spokesperson Dawn Clenney.
The man is identified as Ravichandra Thuluva (rah-vee-CHAHN'-drah too-LOO'-vah), 28, of Bombay, India, and was in the United States on a working visa. Thuluva told investigators he had been employed as a computer consultant in Kansas City and was to board a connecting flight to Amsterdam, which would then travel to Bombay.
Thuluva is being detained on a federal complaint of engaging or attempting to engage in sexual contact with the girl, authorities said. A formal indictment is still pending. Any crime committed on board an airplane is considered a
felony since U.S. air space is considered federal jurisdiction.
During a detention hearing and preliminary exam Monday, Federal Magistrate Donald Scheer ordered Thuluva to be held without bond, calling him a danger to the community and a possible flight risk.
The alleged victim was sitting in seat 10a, a window seat, during the 1.5- to 2-hour flight. The girl told investigators Thuluva, sitting in seat 10b, "had put his hand down her pants" and "into her shirt," according to an FBI affidavit.
The alleged victim said she "told the man to stop numerous times and that she slapped his hand away numerous times when he attempted to touch her," stated the affidavit.
She also stated that "she was too scared to tell anyone on the airplane of the sexual contact."
MAN DENIES IMPROPER CONTACT
But in his statement, Thuluva said he "placed his left hand on her right upper thigh on two occasions," according to the affidavit. Thuluva told investigators he only placed his hand on the girl's thigh to calm her down because she was scared during takeoff and when the plane encountered some turbulence.
"He denied he touched her improperly," said James Thomas, an attorney representing Thuluva.
Thomas added that the only evidence in this case so far is the testimony of a 10-year-old girl.
"It is very premature to get worked into a frenzy at this point. The investigation is continuing. We don't want there to be a rush to judgment," said Thomas.
A Northwest Airlines spokesperson could not comment on whether any flight attendants or other passengers on the plane noticed an altercation between Thuluva and the girl.
"We are investigating the incident and are working closely with the authorities," said spokesman Doug Killian.
He said flight attendants are required to check on children flying alone, but did not offer specifics on how often they are supposed to check on the minors.
The unidentified girl was traveling under Northwest's "World Kids" unaccompanied minor program, which applies to children ages 5-14, said Killian.
Program guidelines require a parent or designated adult to be with the child as they are boarding a gate. A flight attendant then accompanies the child to his or her assigned seat on the plane.
A Northwest representative will accompany minors departing the plane and must accompany them to any connecting flights and verify they are boarding the correct flight.
Once unaccompanied minors reach their final destination, a Northwest representative must check the identification of the parent or designated adult picking up the minor before releasing that child to their custody.
About 100,000 children travel unaccompanied on Northwest flights each year, said Killian. The fee for the airline chaperone is $40 per minor for a one way flight.
This story doesn't quite ring true to me ... the girl was allegedly saying 'no' and fighting him off; yet no one else (especially the crew) noticed and at the same time the girl claims she was "too scared" to say anything to anyone?? Sounds like a fraudulent litigation scam to me!!
If it turns out to be a scam, I hope the guy that was accused sues the kid and her family into penury...!
That said, he admitted he put his hand on her thigh a couple of times. When most people try to calm others, the instinctive thing is to reach for the other person's hand not thigh!!
Matt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 45
Reply 1, posted (13 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1621 times:
Although I do think that inappropriate contact with a minor is an abomination, no questions asked, it scares me to think that when you have a "he said/she said" situation like this, the guy will lose every time. This guy is already been found guilty de facto, based solely on the word of a 10 year old. The investigation hasn't even been completed yet.
I think just to be on the safe side, next time I board an airplane, and a kid sits next to me, I'll ask to be reseated in a "safe" location-such as the cargo hold before takeoff. I'll be sure to bring an extra jacket on board. And an oxygen tank.
Matt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 45
Reply 3, posted (13 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1574 times:
That's not the point. I already KNOW not to touch anyone (which I don't anyway, regardless of age or gender-but that's a separate issue). The point is that even if I sit there, totally minding my own business, entirely oblivious to her person, some girl (of any age) can send me to prison just by saying I "touched her inapproriately", even though I never even made eye contact much less touched her. As a guy, I find that possibility scarier than schidt.
Who is the police, the media, and the courts going to believe?
MEA-707 From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4414 posts, RR: 34
Reply 4, posted (13 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1562 times:
Just can't judge anything now... My guts say he might have done it, a child of 10 is too young to just make this up for a compensation and sueing scam. It sounds serious. But I think they can find out whose side of the story is most likely, F/A's and other pax must have seen something (but didn't react because they might have presumed it were just parent and daughter in a small quarrel) which makes one of the two versions the most likely.
The thing what annoys me is the name and maybe even the photo of the guy is spread around. Imagine him being unguilty, his life is ruined. He still runs the risk of mad people lynching him, or not getting a job because there's a hint of dirty-ness around him now. The nightmare for everyone dealing with children.
nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
NWA From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 1200 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (13 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1534 times:
you know whats funny, well, not really, but a bad double standered, they are more than happy to tell his name, but the girl is unidentified. weather this man is guilty or not, he is done for. He will always be knowen as a child moleser. Its that simple. I find it odd that no F/A's heard it. I have flowen on NWA as a unaccompanied minor, and let me tell you, they watch you like a hawk. If this really happened, they would know. and to who said they may have thought it was a parent, the F/A's know were every kid is on that aircraft. they keep your tickets of heaven sakes. they would have knowen. no offense to you though, just telling you they would know.
23 victor, turn right heading 210, maintain 3000 till established, cleared ILS runwy 24.
Jessman From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 1506 posts, RR: 7
Reply 7, posted (13 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 1455 times:
Mea707 "Just can't judge anything now... My guts say he might have done it, a child of 10 is too young to just make this up for a compensation and sueing scam."
While I agree that the child may not have, there are sick parents out in the world. Her mother and father may have told her to point at the person who sat next to her when she got off the plane. From there parents speak for children in many cases. I just hope the truth, whatever it is, comes out and justice is done one way or the other.
Ceilidh From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (13 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 1436 times:
Er, Iain - you've obviously never flown as a UM in your life or you'd never have posted such a silly comment! In the case of the FAs, of course they would have known they were not travelling together - it's their frickin' job to know!! and in the case of the pax, unless the girl is Indian as well, don't you think the difference would have been slightly obvious??
UMs are supposed to be seated together, so that they are more easily managed in the event of an emergency.
Coloneh From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (13 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 1429 times:
If there's a full flight with ONE UM, you can't ask the adult psgr to get off, nor can you have the psgr sit in a jumpseat, sometimes you just do what you can, but you are supposed to check on the UM frequently and it is NOT the crew's fault if they did not notice/ hear-sight otherwise the alledged incident and if no other passengers heard anything and the girl was too afraid to say anything, then it IS a "he said/she said" issue" and unfortunately there may be prejudice out there because many people think that "an innocent child" could not have possibly made the story up...well wake up folks, there are a LOT of bad people out there, YOUNG and old! Who knows what happened, the girl and the man only know. And if she is lying, it's on her conscience...and if she is telling the truth, then the man deserves to pay for it. But you're right, he'll be known as "that man who fondled that girl on the plane" no matter what turns out.
Iainhol From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (13 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 1400 times:
Neil, I have not travelled as an UM, however don't you think the man would know the FA's presence when they are doing their rounds?
I still think most passengers would of thought they where traveling together, even though they are different races.
I don't think a 10 year old has the ability to keep the story straight if this did nto take place, especially with professionals like the FBI dealing with it.
BA's policy says if possible move male passengers away from UM. I think it would be better to humilate a couple men, then have a situation like this happen. Don't you?
Virgin744 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 921 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (13 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 1402 times:
This sounds fishy to me.
Q1: The girl allegedly was being calmed down during takeoff and tubulence. Did no-one else hear her then?
Q2: If they did/didn't then it sounds strange that they didnt notice the allegedly impropriety too!?
Q3: Has anyone considered the childs background? Is she a habitual liar, does she often make up stories or exaggerate the truth?
Q4: What is the man's background too?
Q5: Were there any witnesses at all?
IMHO I think its fair to say that no judgement can be made without asking any of the above questions. A mans life, let alone reputation is at stake here!!!
I'd be 'very' suprised if this man is charged just by the accusations of a 10 yr old. (I think I'll never want to sit near a kid on a journey ever again)!
M&m From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (13 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 1393 times:
here's my thought, if the man allegedly touched her inappropriatley would it not have been done in a more private setting like maybe the restroom, I mean for man to out of nowhere start touching a little girl right there in front of everyone seems quiet strange and sick.
If it was true that he was trying to calm her down, maybe she took it the wrong way. I think if she felt like he was touching her inappropriatly then she should have maybe bit his hand, that would have probably gotten some attention from the cabin.
Milesrich From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2039 posts, RR: 6
Reply 15, posted (13 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1388 times:
There is no doubt that these type of allegations are easily made and very difficult if not impossible to disprove. But here, this man admitted touching this girl on her THIGH, not once, BUT TWICE! Was the takeoff unusual? Was there moderate to severe turbulence during the flight? Has this 10 year old ever flown before? Has she grown up in a culturally diverse environment? The answers to those questions are indeed relevant in understanding the totality of the circumstances.
Now perhaps in India, this is accepted behavior, but in this country, it is not. Ask you yourself, as an adult male, if you would intentionally touch the thigh of a 10 year old little girl, who you have never seen before in your life, that was seated next to you on an airplane, just because the airplane started bouncing or the take off was steep? Did the little girl scream? I assume this was in coach. There were 3 or 4 others sitting in the same row, and another 10 or 12 seated within a earshot.
Perhaps we should just ship this guy back to India, and revoke his visa. I do criminal defense work. I have had clients who were falsely accused of molestation and other inappropriate sexual behavior, and have been fairly successful in dealing with those charges, but such cases are very difficult, and often people plead guilty to dispose of them in order to avoid penalties including imprisonment for the majority if the not the rest of their lives. I do little personal injury law, (and don't care to), yet I get calls every week from some idiot that wants to sue someone over "nothing." I usually tell them to "get a life." However, this story has legs. A ten year old is not going to make up a story like this to sue for money, and the fact that she reported this as soon as she got off the airplane and felt safe, lends real credibility to her story. Was Northwest negligent? From what I have read, No! Will they get sued? Probably, and they will probably settle to avoid the publicity, which is sad.
What would really be unfortunate is if seats were now blocked on flights to "protect" UM's because of this one unfortunate incident.
I will interested to read further developments in this case.
Ceilidh From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (13 years 7 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 1334 times:
And even more interesting that the claims of the "history of unnatual [sic] interest in children" in the Sunday Mail should come from YOU Freeboot!
Oh, and BTW, other people have confirmed my MSc in Clinical Psychology ... I'm in the middle of a Doctoral dissertation at the moment, thank you. Had thought about making you the subject: "An Evaluation and Examination of the Psychoses Relating to Internet Stalking" but nah ...
Braniff727 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 686 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (13 years 7 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 1321 times:
Well I think this is a case here where there's going to be trouble. NW, in my opionion (granted I'm biased) has one of the best UM polices in the US. Now this family is suing becuause the child was not supervised.
If you want a babysitter, buy 2 tickets and hire one.
I think ALL airlines in the US should abolish UM programs. It's too risky in this sue-happy climate.
Granted this is extreme, but so is paying $30 extra and expecting someone to personally supervise your child(ren).
Getting rid of UM's will eliminate the risk of your child being molested!
Freeboot From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (13 years 7 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 1288 times:
No Ceilidh, you should have read the article. The accusations were made by your ex-girl friend. We're still waiting to see what's to happen about your libel case that you told us you would initiate against the Sunday Mail. No word surely = guilty?
And please, your not going to claim more bogus qualifications now? Should go well with your fraudulent Nigerian ALTP, forged diplomatic status, forged Kiribati ALTP, ... What's it to be a Doctorate in Nuclear Physics from the University of Microsoft Publisher?
Heavymetal From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (13 years 7 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 1278 times:
Lotsa people on this forum are apologists for horribly run companies, too.
BTW...I'll give a modern ten year old credit for knowing the difference between a comforting pat and an inappropriate diddle...and, without trying to defend this guy, is there a possibility that there is a culture clash here? The guy is from India. Is Indian culture, for lack of a better phrase, less 'keep your hands to yourself' oriented than the US? I know Asian cultures are less obsessive about 'personal space'.
Also, child molesters tend to have a history....I'm sure the cops are checking in to see if this guy has done this type of thing before, or there have been complaints.
I was a UM frequently on Northwest Orient in my early teens. They were always excellent with me....first row in coach, window if I wanted it.
Greg From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (13 years 7 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 1275 times:
Unfortunate for all involved. But I think this girl may be telling some form of the truth.
NW will undoubtedly settle with some $$ to avoid prolonged exposure to adverse press. It couldn't come at a worse time....hot off the heels of AW 'misslacement' of several UM's.
The lawyers will make a couple bucks out of this one. Which is OK..since the girl will probably benefit from some counseling.
Ceilidh From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (13 years 7 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 1271 times:
Actually, Freeboot, the allegations were investigated by the SAPS and they found a rather fatal flaw in the case - I was in Uganda with my partner and a third party at the time! Also, the rather cr*p journo that wrote up your story for you couldn't even get his facts straight - one second he's allegedly 'quoting' my ex and the next saying that she declined any comment! As for forged documents ... the only person around here that seems to know anything about that sort of thing is you! Lies, lies and innuendo... Even your journo mate wasn't at all impressed by it ... but he'd do anything for a story, right?!
Now, why don't you do all of us a favour here and ... F*ck off??
: Why no savage criticism towards NWA for letting this happen....when a UM recently had a problem at AWE, several posters were screaming bloodly murder
: It seems as if this forum is truly divided. One half condemning the girl for supposedly not being truthful and the other half for hanging the man befo
: I don't wanna sound like I support child molesters or anything but why do you say that the man should be hanged if he is lying but the girl should get
: I blame the current climate of fear that has been created for kids. When I was one, although there were obviously 'bad' people around, we played outdo
: "When I was a kid, any adult in the neighbourhood would feel 'empowered' to give a misbehaving kid a whack - and rightly so. If we complained, our par