Alaska Airlines Pilot Says She Was Raped by Captain

He remains at work, Betty Pina alleges in lawsuit against airline
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 15, 2018 10:20 AM CDT
Alaska Airlines Pilot Says She Was Raped by Captain
An Alaska Airlines jet is fueled at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Nov. 14, 2016.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

Last June, an Alaska Airlines pilot reported that her captain drugged and raped her during a layover in Minneapolis. Nine months later, he's still in the job, according to her lawsuit against the airline. It describes how Betty Pina, 39, and Paul Engelien, 50, arrived in the concierge room of a Minneapolis hotel where refreshments had been set up for airline employees after their flight from Seattle, to which they were to return the next day, per the Seattle Times. After two sips from a glass of wine Engelien brought her, Pina tells KIRO 7 she blacked out and awoke partially naked in bed in Engelien's hotel room, where Engelien was on the phone. Later deemed unfit to fly, Engelien told a confused Pina on a flight back to Seattle that she'd gotten drunk and come on to him, according to Pina, who didn't mention an alleged rape when questioned by airline officials.

But Pina says she did report it to a union rep and HR official days later after finding a "handprint bruise" on her thigh. She says she later learned a flight attendant had seen Engelien in a hotel hallway with glasses of wine and a woman seemingly in danger. Pina says a lawyer hired to investigate a possible breach of airline policy banning pilots from consuming alcohol before a scheduled flight also told her a security video showed an "incapacitated" Pina trying to fight off Engelien's attempts to get her in his hotel room. Her lawsuit places liability on Alaska Airlines and doesn't go after Engelien. Pina says she's open to a separate criminal case against him, but she says she initially didn't report him to police because "I thought telling my company and my supervisor is all I needed to do." Alaska Airlines describes the matter as "an open and active investigation." (More Alaska Airlines stories.)

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