Malaysia Airlines crew caught in rape allegation

RACHEL BROWNE
Last updated 02:30 25/08/2014

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The senior Malaysia Airlines staff member accused of raping an Australian woman on a Paris-bound flight earlier this month begged her not to report the alleged incident to the authorities because he had a wife and children.

Perth woman Laura Bushney recounted a horrifying tale of alleged abuse at the hands of chief steward Mohd Rosli Bin Ab Karim on flight MH20 from Kuala Lumpur to Paris on August 4.

She recorded part of the incident on her mobile phone in footage which was aired on Australia's Channel 7's Sunday Night programme.

The 26-year-old disability support worker told the programme she was scared to travel on the airline following the disappearance of MH370 and the shooting down of MH17.

Rosli offered to calm her nerves but instead Bushney claimed he raped her as she tried to sleep in row 81.

She told the programme the 54-year-old married father of three started massaging her legs, placing them over his lap so she could feel that he had an erection.

Frozen with fear, she said he put his hand inside her pants, touching her genitals.

"I just keep saying why didn't I scream, why didn't I shout? Why didn't I stop it? I am a strong person because I can do that, I know I can," Bushney said.

"When I was in the moment I couldn't. I felt so scared, so petrified."

A fellow passenger, French Canadian Sophie Lachance, told her to report the alleged assault but Bushney said airline staff did not heed her request to keep Rosli away from her.

He approached her later during the flight and apologised, saying he had only wanted to calm her down. In an exchange recorded on her phone, Bushney responded: "You wanted to calm me down by putting your hand in my pants. You did. You put your hand inside my pants."

Bushney was moved to first class where Rosli approached her again, begging her not to take the matter further because he had a wife and children.

"If you've got a wife at home why would you do that? That's rape," she told him.

Rosli was taken away for questioning by police when the flight landed in Paris and remains on remand in the French capital while the investigation continues.

Bushney, who is still in France but is expected to return to Australia this week, was required to confront her alleged abuser as part of the legal process.

She remains "furious" at the way the complaint was handled by the airline with an official advising her not to proceed with the matter. She further claims the airline has not contacted her with an apology or an offer of counselling since the alleged incident.

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Malaysia Airlines released a brief statement in response to the allegations.

"Malaysia Airlines can confirm that following allegations by a passenger travelling on flight MH20 from Kuala Lumpur to Paris on 4th August 2014 of inappropriate sexual behaviour by a member of the cabin crew, the member of staff in question has been detained for questioning by the French police."

"Malaysia Airlines expects and accepts nothing short of the highest standards of conduct from its crew and takes any such allegations very seriously."

- Sydney Morning Herald

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