This Teenager Groped On A Delta Flight Could Have Been Prevented By Better Rules
A 66-year-old man from California is being accused of groping a 15-year-old girl on a flight from LA to Salt Lake City, allegedly telling her that he could “teach her things” about sex that guys her age can’t. Sounds to me like the girls learned a lesson about perverts, so I guess he wasn’t wrong. Ugh. The sad part is, I think this could have been avoided if the rules that were in place when I was a kid were still being used.
The “man” is Hans Loudermilk and he’s facing federal charges after allegedly rubbing the girl’s inner thigh on the 90 minute Delta flight. Loudermilk was traveling to attend the funeral of a friend. Because of course he was. According to the affidavit written by FBI Agent Daniel Horan, Loudermilk asked the unnamed minor to move over to the middle seat in their row. The two began chatting “socially” at first, but eventually Loudermilk steered the conversation to sexual subjects.
Loudermilk allegedly groped the girl and made the aforementioned sexual comments about 25 minutes before the flight was scheduled to land. He also propositioned her, saying that she “should drive with him and that in the state of Utah he could marry her at her current age.” Yuck. Of course, by this point the kid just wanted this incident to end.
When the plane landed, the girl contacted a TSA Officer and reported a sexual assault. According to the report released by The Smoking Gun, Loudermilk tried to avoid detection by purchasing a new jacket in the airport gift shop. Because it’s not like the TSA has a flight manifest or anything. Oh, wait. Obviously Loudermilk was arrested and was charged with two counts of felony sexual abuse of a minor on an aircraft. Which I honestly didn’t know was a separate offense than “regular” sexual abuse of a minor.
I’m sure there will be uproar about the fact that this kid was alone on a flight, but as a seasoned traveler with parents who live 1000 miles apart, I started traveling alone even younger. So I don’t think the answer is to raise the age in which they allow this, or make unaccompanied minors against the rules. But what I don’t get is why this kid wasn’t seated closer to the flight attendant area, which is what was always done for me, even when I was as old as 16. According to Delta’s website, this teen was just past the age were unaccompanied minor service was required. But I think allowing kids as young as 15 to fly as adults is a serious mistake.