Portland, OR - Heidi McKinney was sentenced to no jail time for the sexual assault of a 19-year-old girl on a 2016 Alaskan Airlines flight, leaving people to wonder what role her gender may have had in the sentencing.
Amazingly, the prosecutor and defense attorney had originally agreed to a plea deal with probation only and no home detention. The judge rejected the plea deal and said that it would be "quite out of line," considering her crime.
"She needs to be held accountable for her crimes first,'' Judge Anna Brown said before adding the home detention.
The incident occurred in May 2016, on-board an Alaska Airlines flight from Las Vegas to Portland.
In court records, prosecutors said that McKinney, age 27, tried to force the 19-year-old victim to drink alcohol, which she had smuggled on to the plane. She then climbed on top of the victim, said that she wanted to have sex, grabbed the victim's breasts and genitals, and licked the victim's ear.
The victim pushed McKinney off and called the flight attendant who moved McKinney.
Witnesses who were present on the flight corroborated these details.
The victim was going to make a statement to the court, but became too emotional to speak. Instead, her grandmother read the written statement to the court. In the written statement the victim said, "I personally don't feel you know much damage you have caused me." She said, "That day you messed with my head and took something from me that I will never get back."
Heidi McKinney's attorney said that her client was a victim of sexual abuse and has been struggling with alcohol abuse ever since she was a teenager.
McKinney, who is married, was ordered to stay away from her husband's marijuana business. She has previous DUI convictions in 2008 and 2015.
Do you think that McKinney was given a break because of her gender? Do you think that a male suspect would have been treated the same way? We'd like to hear from you. Please let us know in the comments.