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Woman: I Got Raped in Airplane Bathroom

Aubrey Lane, 32, is suing American Airlines
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2018 3:00 PM CST
FILE- In this Sept. 21, 2018, file photo a plane flies past the American flag in Washington. American Airlines reports earnings Thursday, Oct. 25.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

(Newser) – A woman who claims she was raped on an overnight flight and got little help from attendants is suing American Airlines, the Guardian reports. In a complaint filed Wednesday, 32-year-old Aubrey Lane says she was flying from Phoenix to New York in June 2017 when the man beside her ordered multiple drinks, noisily came on to her, and followed her to the bathroom—where he sexually assaulted her. "I started hearing him say how pretty she was, how lucky her husband was to have such a 'bangin' wife' and how 'what happens on vacation stays on vacation,'" another passenger is quoted as saying in the court papers. The man allegedly grabbed Lane's face, tried kissing her, told her he loved her, and the two got in an argument about whether he could fall in love that fast.

"This drew a lot of attention, but when I alerted the flight attendant as he walked by, he shrugged and said: 'Well they are drinking …' and walked away," says the passenger. Lane tells the Dallas Morning News that when she informed staff about the assault, they just moved her to another seat. "I was feeling overwhelmed … all of a sudden, I was thrown in a middle seat, bawling," she says. Lane accuses flight staff of failing to protect her by giving the man up to six alcoholic drinks, and claims he simply left when they reached JFK Airport. In December, the airline responded by calling Lane's allegation a "nuisance claim" and offering her $5,000. The FBI is apparently investigating. Meanwhile, a 2017 survey says 20% of flight attendants have had a sexual assault reported during a flight. (Submitting to rape is described as a "necessity" in North Korea.)

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