Published: Tue, July 11, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Woman Faces Probation for Groping Female Passenger During Las Vegas Flight

Woman Faces Probation for Groping Female Passenger During Las Vegas Flight

Heidi McKinney, 27, of Banks, was arrested in May 2016 at Portland International Airport.

An Oregon woman was sentenced to eight months of home detention and three years of probation for licking and groping a fellow passenger aboard an Alaska Airlines flight last year, court documents reveal.

"Miss McKinney did so with the intent to humiliate and harass the victim", Assistant US Attorney Ravi Sinha said at US District Court in Portland in March.

The incident escalated with McKinney "climbing on top of the victim and telling the victim that she wanted to [redacted]", court documents obtained by KOIN-TV show.

Heidi McKinney is due to be sentenced in Portland, Oregon, on Monday for the incident which took place in May a year ago.

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Heidi McKinney pleaded guilty Friday to assault charges connected with the May 2016 incident - during which prosecutors said she grabbed the woman's breasts and groin.

McKinney plea deal comes after initially charged with abusive sexual conduct.

Shortly after the March hearing, McKinney was found unconscious in a bar. McKinney even took several photos of the victim during which McKinney placed her arm around the victim, according to court documents.

McKinney did not speak at her sentencing but wrote the victim a letter of apology, the Oregonian reported.

"As the plane took off, things got worse", court documents state. McKinney's male fiancee later told authorities that she did not "metabolize alcohol" and said "this is what happens when she drinks". The victim turned her down, and the defendant threw it at the woman's lap.

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McKinney, of suburban Portland, also licked the victim's ear, attempted to kiss her and tried to place her hands on the victim's crotch on three separate occasions.

The victim sat in the front row of the courtroom gallery but was too emotional to read her prepared statements in court.

When the victim pushed McKinney off, McKinney cursed at her and called her "poor".

"McKinney's aggressive criminal behavior is both shocking and abhorrent", federal prosecutors wrote in court documents.

Prosecutors said the victim remains "deeply traumatized" by the unprovoked aggression, and will suffer from the assault the rest of her life.

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"Viewed in isolation, McKinney's criminal behavior is certainly deserving of incarceration - and the United States would likely have sought a significant jail sentence under most circumstances...."

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