ALASKA pilot accused of drugging raping copilot
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Betty Pina has filed suit against Alaska Airlines in Washington State Superior Court. Paul Engelien (right) is named in Pina’s lawsuit, but not as a defendant. (Eric Makus/Twitter)
Alaska Airlines told Fox News that the male senior pilot accused of drugging and raping a female first officer on an overnight trip in June 2017 has been grounded, as new details emerge in Betty Pina’s lawsuit against the carrier and infuriated supporters call for a boycott of the airline.
The pilot, identified in court documents and confirmed by the airline as Paul Engelien, “is not flying and was taken off the line immediately after learning of the incident,” company spokeswoman Ann Johnson told Fox News via email Thursday, adding, “It is our policy to withhold an employee from work during this type of investigation."
While declining to comment on the investigation or lawsuit, Johnson said, "What we can say is that we are taking this matter seriously. The safety and well-being of our employees and guests is a top priority."
To date, Pina still employed by and actively working for Alaska Airlines.
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On March 14, attorneys Eric Makus and Lincoln Beauregard, attorneys representing Pina in Washington State Superior Court, confirmed to Fox News that the 39-year-old Seattle-based woman filed lawsuit against the airline. (istock)
Attorneys Eric Makus and Lincoln Beauregard, representing Pina in Washington State Superior Court, confirmed to Fox News on March 14 that the 39-year-old Seattle woman had first served a lawsuit against the airline on Feb. 15. As Alaska Airlines failed to answer within 20 days, the lawsuit was filed on March 14 in Seattle's King County Superior Court.
According to the report cited in the lawsuit provided to Fox News, Pina, a distinguished Army helicopter pilot who flew combat missions in Afghanistan, alleges that she was assaulted by Paul Engelien, a 50-year-old captain, during a three-day assignment from Anchorage to Seattle to Minneapolis. It was the first time that Pina, who has been employed by the airline since 2016, met the married Nevada resident, who is a veteran with the airline, the suit states.
Engelien is named in Pina’s lawsuit, but not as a defendant.
According to testimony in the lawsuit, upon their initial meeting on June 4, Pina and Engelien "got along really well" through “a lot of military speak," which made Pina "more comfortable.” Engelien soon invited Pina on a hike and asked if she’d speak to the daughter of a family friend who was learning to fly. On June 5, the suit alleges Engelien told Pina that the Minneapolis hotel where the flight crew would be staying had a concierge room where "the crews hang out,” offering wine and pizza for $11.
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When Pina arrived, she had her "first glass of wine without any problem,” and Engelien then "brought her a second glass of wine” to which Pina began "having a hard time keeping her head up and things appeared to be closing in." According to the report, Pina typically feels tipsy after three or four glasses of wine, not two.
Pina is “infuriated” that her alleged assailant continued to be employed by Alaska Airlines in the wake of her complaint. (Reuters/LinkedIn)
Engelien allegedly again took Pina's glass for a refill, and "the next thing she remembers is waking up and being pulled on her right ankle.” She then recalls that she said “No” before rolling over on her side, realizing she was in Engelien’s bedroom, and that she was naked from the waist down. She was soon “freaked out” to find her underwear zipped up inside her purse, as it hit her that she and Engelien had "been in the same bed” which had vomit on the sheets as "the other bed [did] not look like anyone had laid on it."
"We're f---ed. We're f---ed, I missed a call from the FODO at 10:47 p.m." she claims she heard Engelien say. The captain received a message stating that a flight attendant had spotted him walking down the hotel hall "with a girl and two glasses of wine" and didn't feel comfortable flying with him.Read More...