Sexual Assault on Flights to and from Texas Has Increased in Recent YearsPublished: Jul 06, 2018 in Criminal Defense, Sex Crimes
Airplanes are often thought of as relatively safe spaces. Despite being thousands of feet above the ground, you likely wouldn’t think of an airplane as a particularly likely place for violence to occur. A study released by the FBI may force you to reconsider those assumptions. According to Special Agent David Rodski, sexual assault on flights is increasing at a shocking rate.
Sexual assault allegations have the capability to do extensive damage to your life. For some of your friends, being associated with a sexual offense in any way can be enough to damage your relationships irreparably. If you’re being investigated for a sexual crime in the Houston area, your first step should be to talk to an experienced Houston sexual assault lawyer.
FBI Investigating More Sexual Assault on Flights Than Ever Before
Between 2014 and 2017, the FBI’s investigation into sexual assault during flights increased by 66%. Last year alone, 63 such cases were opened. David Rodski noted the FBI has not discovered a single cause for the increase in midair sex crimes. There is no agency that tracks such data at a federal level, so specifics are difficult to determine. In such a unique situation, human behavior can be modeled differently. The lack of oversight makes it tough to know for sure how certain actions can be legally perceived. This is undoubtedly part of what has sparked the escalation in federal investigations.
Longer Flights May Increase the Odds of Midair Sexual Assault
According to FBI representatives, flights that take three or more hours are more likely to encounter an incident. These odds also increase on red-eye trips, overnight flights, and flights where cabin lights are dimmed. Alcohol also plays a factor. The odds of sexual assault increase during flights where alcohol is consumed.
Lack of Procedure Causes Confusion Where Sexual Assault is Concerned
A large number of victims take no action in response to assault until a plane is on the ground, said Rodski. While notifying the proper authorities does help move the investigation along, the FBI is looking into in-flight response training for flight attendants.
Others have called for similar programs. In a survey taken of flight attendants, one in five reported that they had received notice of sexual assault during a flight. Law enforcement was contacted to meet the plane in less than half of those cases. The emphasis airlines are placing on increased recognition will probably continue to add fuel to the FBI’s investigation of this issue.
Being Investigated for Sexual Assault in Houston? Contact a Lawyer Today
Sexual assault is a very serious allegation. In Texas, sexual assault can be punishable by decades in prison, and thousands of dollars in fines. Association with a sex crime, whatever the outcome of your case may be, can haunt you for the rest of your life. If you’re in the Houston area and need strong legal representation on your side, contact The Law Offices of Ned Barnett today.