The American Airlines flight from Dallas to Portland had been delayed for nearly an hour. While most of the passengers waited inside the airport, a 13-year-old girl – traveling as an unaccompanied minor – already sat in her seat on the plane. She made small talk with the flight crew. She was heading home after visiting her father in Texas.
Soon, passengers began filing onto the aircraft. A 26-year-old man, Chad Cameron Camp, sat in his assigned seat next to the girl. He was in the middle seat; she was by the window.
According to a criminal complaint obtained by PEOPLE, a flight attendant asked Camp if he’d like to move to another seat, because the flight was only half full. The aisle seat remained empty.
A half hour later, another flight attendant began serving drinks in the cabin. According to the police report, that’s when she saw Camp’s hand on the teenager’s crotch.
According to the complaint, the flight attendant also saw a single tear coming down the victim s cheek.”
The flight crew separated Camp and the girl. When the flight landed, Camp was arrested and charged with abusive sexual contact, according to an FBI press release. He is being held without bond.
A Horrifying Trip
According to the complaint obtained by PEOPLE, Camp tried to touch the victim several times. When she moved away from the physical contact, he would laugh.
“The victim stated that camp then reached over with his left hand and placed it on the victim’s knee and slid it up to her upper thigh,” the complaint read. “The victim crossed her right leg over her left and leaned towards the window to break contact with Camp … she was frightened and felt trapped.”
The complaint also alleges that a witness had seen Camp “consume four mixed alcoholic drinks” at the airport bar before boarding the flight.
In a statement, American Airlines said that they “have cooperated fully and immediately with law enforcement officials in their investigation of the suspect.”
“American cares deeply about our young passengers and is committed to providing a safe and pleasant travel experience for them.”
But a lawyer representing the girl disagrees.
“This was 30 minutes of hell for this child,” attorney Brent Goodfellow tells PEOPLE. “She didn’t know what to do. The family paid an extra $300 – $150 each way – for her to fly as an unaccompanied minor. They expected that the airline would protect her.”
Goodfellow says that the girl had a 3.95 GPA and wanted to be a lawyer, but is now “struggling” in the aftermath of the alleged attack. “It was a frightening experience for her, but she’s trying to be strong.”
According to Goodfellow, the family is planning a civil suit. “The monetary payout is secondary,” he says. “They want real change so that this doesn’t happen again to someone’s child.”