Heidi McKinney molest
Heidi McKinney. Source: The Office of the Sheriff of Multnomah County.

…So If the Woman Accused of Molesting Another Woman Was Male, Old or Ugly, Would the Outcome Be Different?

An unidentified female passenger aboard an airplane — which operated as Alaska Airlines flight 621 en route from Las Vegas to Portland — was allegedly touched on her breast and genitals by a fellow passenger without her consent on the evening of Sunday, May 8, 2016. Law enforcement officers of the Port of Portland Police Department were dispatched, as the incident was classified as a sex crime. The suspect was arrested based on probable cause of sexual abuse in the third degree; and bail was set at $2,500.00. An investigation was conducted by both the police department and the Office of the District Attorney of Multnomah County.

Prosecutors of the state of Oregon eventually announced that they will not pursue a criminal case against the suspect, but instead have referred the matter to the United States Attorney’s Office of the District of Oregon, as prosecutors for the federal government typically handle cases involving crimes alleged to have been committed aboard aircraft.

I t is unclear at this time whether alcohol was a factor in the alleged illegal contact; but fellow passengers had supposedly claimed that the suspect was indeed drunk at the time police escorted the suspect off of the airplane. The suspect had allegedly been previously charged with drunk driving, reckless driving, and being a minor in possession of alcohol.

Unlike many other similar incidents to this one, the difference in this case is that the alleged suspect — Heidi McKinney, who is 26 years old — is also a woman; and she is not facing immediate charges after all. This has prompted lewd comments to be posted in response to this article by The Smoking Gun — such as “well Heidi McKinney, 26, you could have molested me, and I wouldn’t have said a word, in fact we could have become members of the mile high club….” or “She can molest me anytime she wants too, hmmm. maybe wearing a dress and going into the ladies room isn’t that bad of ideal after all. lol” or “If I was a woman, I’d be a lesbo too. Women are freakn hot. She’s not bad looking herself.”

…So If the Woman Accused of Molesting Another Woman Was Male, Old or Ugly, Would the Outcome Be Different?

A man from New Jersey was accused of sexual assault aboard an airplane and faced possible jail time for allegedly reaching under the blanket of a female passenger and touching her inappropriately while she was sleeping in her seat during a flight from Hong Kong to Newark. The female passenger was awakened by a passenger seated behind her kicking her seat to bring about awareness to her regarding the disturbing situation in progress. The victim then reportedly alerted the flight crew of the incident, which resulted in the man — who was 63 years of age at the time of this incident six years ago — being detained.

I wonder how many posted comments would have been similar to the aforementioned examples? Do you think you would read comments such as “he could molest me anytime he wants to” or “I fantasize about having his wrinkles and liver spots rub against my body”?

The comments would probably be more in the line of “Someone needs to throw that sick old f**k in jail and lock him up forever where he can rot“ or “Ewww. Gross and disgusting!”


Still unknown at this time is for what reason McKinney chose to inappropriately touch the unidentified victim; whether other acts of inappropriate behavior occurred; why she believed that what she did was permissible in any way, shape or form; what the initial reaction was of the victim; and whether the victim officially pressed charges against McKinney…

…and although McKinney could still face federal charges, there seems to be a double standard pertaining to situations such as this one. If an ugly old man committed the exact same offense, he most likely would have met a significantly worse fate.

Is that perceived double standard blatantly wrong and unfair — or is it understandable due to human nature?

People have a right to not be abused by any other person — regardless of gender, age, appearance, religion, nationality, race or financial standing. I personally do not like when another person enters my personal space without my consent — let alone touches me — and the unidentified female passenger should not have been touched inappropriately in any way aboard that airplane.

Heidi McKinney. Source: The Office of the Sheriff of Multnomah County.

  1. So what is the double-standard as you see it? The legal process hasn’t run its course yet, so wondering if someone’s “fate” would be different when that fate has yet to be determined is pretty pointless.

  2. Your right of course but change the equation again. What if the old guy was some hot 27 year old guy that women swooned over and made sexual comments about. Would that matter? Sure it would. We all have the right not to be molested or exposed to sexual perverts. That is the reason that that the Transgender bathroom, shower, changing room issue is such a hot button.

    1. You really zeroed in on the message I was attempting to convey with this article, DaninMCI.

      Thank you.

  3. IMO ugly is such a harsh word to use for another human being, but understand you may choose the words you wish on your blog.

    1. I completely agree with you, Kate; but notice that I never specifically called anyone “ugly.”

  4. Can’t help but agree with Anthony. What exactly is your point Brian? Are you commenting on a perceived double standard in the legal process or in the comments section? From the photo, Ms McKinney is an attractive young woman. That shouldn’t mitigate what she is accused of doing, I think we agree on that. But, aside from the comments section, where is the double standard you imply? McKinney was detained, appropriately charged, and after posting bail, she was released. That’s how bail works. The local prosecutor has referred the matter to the U.S. Attorney’s Office as is appropriate in this situation. If the assault occurred while the aircraft was over Nevada, the District Attorney of Mulnomah County would not have jurisdiction, however the USAO does have jurisdiction regardless of whether the aircraft was over Nevada or Oregon. Would you prefer that she be held in a no bond status on local charges until her trial for offense that carries a maximum penalty of 1 year incarceration and $6,250.00 in fines? A trial that could be easily lost on a question of jurisdiction? Or is it better that it is done right by the USAO in Federal Court? Again, aside from the comments section (which is always obnoxious) I see no double standard. I see the legal process working as it should.

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