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Co-pilot sues Alaska Airlines, says she was raped in Minneapolis

She's holding the airline responsible for her alleged rape.
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What's happening?

A co-pilot for Alaska Airlines is suing the company for its inadequate response after she reported she'd been drugged and raped by her captain.

This all happened during a scheduled overnight stop for the crew in Minneapolis, according to the lawsuit filed in Washington State.

More details?

The co-pilot in question is Betty Pina, who we wouldn't typically name except she has taken the step of identifying herself in this interview with the Seattle Times.

The 39 year old from Seattle, a former Army chopper pilot who's been flying for Alaska since 2016, said she blacked out after the captain gave her wine at a hotel lounge. 

She then woke up naked from the waist down in a room with him, later finding her underwear in her purse. When she confronted him, he denied sexual contact and said: "You were coming onto me pretty hard."

They had just completed a two-legged trip from Anchorage to Seattle to Minneapolis on June 5.

Why is she suing Alaska Airlines?

As the captain was the supervising officer on their flight, Pina is holding Alaska liable for discrimination, sexual assault and negligence.

She's also accusing the company of retaliation based on its inadequate response to her report of rape, and she feels it puts others at risk.

She was taken off active duty for six months after reporting the alleged assault, yet the accused captain continues to fly with the airline.

She remains open to pressing criminal charges but when she first reported it to company bosses, she assumed that would be something they would automatically instigate as part of its response.

In December, when told she'd soon be returning to the cockpit, Alaska's Seattle base chief asked her why she didn't press charges.

"And until that moment, I thought telling my company and my supervisor is all I needed to do," Pina told the Seattle Times. "I was shocked when he said that."

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