An Alaska Airlines first officer has filed a lawsuit against the airline over what allegedly happened during a layover last June. Betty Pina claims that she was drugged and raped by the captain she was working with during a Minneapolis layover. The two had gone to the bar, and she claims he must have put something in her wine, as she woke up in his room. Per KIRO7:
“And I’m like, ‘where am I.’ And immediately I sit up and realize my bra and top is on and I’m sliding off the bed. It’s wet and I smell vomit and the blankets and sheets are gathered up at the end of the bed. And I realize my pants and underwear are off,” said Pina.
Pina says that the man who attacked her still works for Alaska Airlines, and she wants him fired. Here’s the statement Alaska Airlines has issued regarding the situation:
This is an open and active investigation and we aren’t going to comment. What we can say is that we are taking this matter seriously. The safety and wellbeing of our employees and guests is a top priority. It is our policy to withhold an employee from work during this type of investigation.
Presumably she’s suing the airline in hopes of them doing a more thorough investigation, given that the captain still works for the airline. While the airline can’t prevent every incident from happening (especially during a layover), they have a duty to do everything in their power to make sure their employees are safe.
We’re not sure yet at what point she reported this to the company. Even if the airline now does a more thorough investigation, it has been nine months since the layover, so that may be much more difficult at this point. One has to wonder how much evidence there will be short of a “he said, she said” testimony. The hotel may not necessarily have video footage anymore (if they had any to begin with), it’s tougher to tell what she was drugged with (assuming she didn’t get some sort of a test the day of), and the captain can’t be searched.
At this point perhaps the best thing that could happen is to see if the captain has a history of this kind of stuff, and see if anyone else comes forward, who may have otherwise been too ashamed to share. After all, once one person comes forward, it’s much more likely that more people who faced a similar situation will come forward as well. People who do these types of things are often serial offenders…