Authorities reported that an observant airline passenger aboard a flight from Seattle, WA to San Jose. CA spotted a man sitting in the seat in front of her allegedly sending alarming texts regarding child sexual assault. The screen display was large enough that she was able to capture photographic evidence of the conversation, and she alerted the flight crew about the incident.
The suspect, 56-year-old Michael Keller, was spied sending text messages to 50-year-old Gail Burnworth consisting of details about molesting children. Both Kellar and Burnworth are residents of Tacoma, Washington where Burnworth provides babysitting services. Police speculated this is what gave Kellar access to the victims: two children ages 5 and 7. The relationship between the suspects currently remains unknown.
After the passenger, who has chosen to remain anonymous, spoke with the flight attendant on board the law enforcement at the San Jose airport was notified. When Kellar disembarked the plane he was taken into custody immediately. Seattle police arrested Burnworth.
Kellar is being held for attempted child molestation and solicitation of a sex crime, and Burnworth is accused of child rape and sexual exploitation of children. If convicted, Washington sexual assault law dictates child molestation and child rape, class A felonies, hold a penalty of a maximum of life in prison, and/or a fine of $50,000.
If you or someone you love is suspected of child sexual assault, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949)477-8088 for a consultation now.