An Army Warrant Officer has been charged with molesting not just one, but two teens onboard an Alaska Airlines flight–two months apart.
Charge: Army Servicemember Molested Two Teenage Girls On Alaska Airlines
James Benecke, 41, is a noncommissioned officer in the US Army stationed in Alaska. He now faces two counts of abusive sexual contact while onboard an aircraft according to the US attorney’s office.
- Incident One – April 12, 2023
- On an Alaska Airlines redeye flight from Anchorage (ANC) to Seattle (SEA), Benecke allegedly intentionally touched the thigh, then the butt of a 16-year-old teen who was seated next to him for sexual arousal
- Incident Two – June 12, 2023
- On an Alaska Airlines flight from Dallas (DFW) to Seattle, Benecke allegedly touched the leg with his pinky and then slid his hand up the inner thigh of an 18-year-old teen who was seated next to him
- She tried to get out of her seat to speak to flight attendants, but Benecke allegedly pretended to be asleep in an attempt to block her from getting out
- While she climbed over him to get out of her middle seat, he allegedly grabbed her butt
- The teen’s boyfriend witnessed this and reported the incident to the cabin crew, who moved Benecke to the rear of the aircraft
Benecke was arrested at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson outside Anchorage earlier this week and will appear in court on July 20, 2023 in Washington State. He is recently divorced, which may or may not provide a motive for the allegations against him.
Incredibly, Benecke does not deny that physical contact occurred, but claims that he is a “big guy” and that any touching was not deliberate.
Investigators believe these two incidents may not be isolated. If you have more information, you re encouraged to call the FBI:
Due to the heavy travel schedule of the defendant, the investigation is ongoing and law enforcement is interested in speaking with anyone who may have been seated near to Benecke on an aircraft. Those with information should call: 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324)
If found guilty, he faces up to two years in prison.
Benecke is innocent until proven guilty. At the same time, these allegations are incredibly disturbing and his “defense” seems to implicate him. I’ll leave out my own commentary here except to say that if he did that to my daughter, I’d want him castrated…
If you have any information concerning this man or are a victim of his abuse, please do reach out to the FBI.
(H/T: One Mile At A Time)