The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is currently investigating a case that involves a United States military service member who allegedly molested female teenagers on two separate Alaska Airlines flights.
Official documents from the US Attorney’s Office (Western District of Washington) state that Alaska-based James Benecke, 41, chief warrant officer in the US Army, was indicted for two counts of abusive sexual contact while on board an aircraft.
According to the indictment, Benecke was on an Alaska Airlines flight from Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) on April 12, 2023 when he allegedly intentionally touched the buttocks of a 16-year-old teen who was seated next to him. The indictment charges that the contact was intentional.
Exactly two months later, on June 12, 2023, Bennecke was on another Alaska Airlines flight from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) to SEA airport when he allegedly touched the buttocks and inner thigh of an 18-year-old female seated next to him.
The teenager and her boyfriend reported the incident to the cabin crew and Bennecke was moved to a seat at the rear of the plane. He was interviewed by law enforcement upon arrival in Seattle.
Law enforcement is interested in speaking with anyone who may have been seated near to Benecke on an aircraft during these two incidents.
According to the US Attorney’s office, abusive sexual contact is punishable by up to two years in prison.