Predators are free to move about the cabin

The girl flew as an unaccompanied minor, and she's still experiencing turbulence.

Senyonga is from Uganda, but travels back and forth between there and the United States. He works on a religious visa with the Rock of Wilmington Church in North Carolina, though he lives in Flower Mound, Texas, with his wife and three children. In Flower Mound, near Dallas, Senyonga and his wife, Eve, are co-pastors of Christian Life Ministries. Senyonga also has a congregation of 40,000 people in Uganda, where he owns a radio station, Top Radio, and once owned a now-defunct newspaper, The Guardian. Senyonga also owns a Ugandan orphan village in which 1,000 children reside.

According to his bio, when Senyonga was 3 months old, his mother abandoned him and his father was apparently killed during Idi Amin's regime. Through "God's grace at work," Senyonga was able to build a congregation in Kampala, Uganda, up from seven to 2,000 people in just two weeks. His ministry continued to grow as Senyonga installed 1,000 churches in four countries, and eventually, according to his bio, he started hanging around in the U.S. with governors, senators, mayors, and spiritual leaders, including Pat Robertson.

His international preaching circuit often carries him around the world, so it's no surprise that Senyonga is a "premier" flier with United Airlines. One of the privileges of a premier flier is early boarding, but Senyonga told the FBI he was one of the last people to get on Flight 505 to Oakland. He claimed that when he got to his assigned seat — aisle seat 10D — someone was already sitting there. He didn't want to make a big deal out of it, Senyonga told the authorities, so he took the closest open seat, three rows up. A middle seat. For a nearly three-hour flight.

When police interviewed flight attendant Maria Wynn, she told them there were plenty of open seats closer to the one Senyonga had been assigned. 10E and 10B were open, she said, as was the entire exit row behind him. That was just one instance where Senyonga's story contradicted details provided by the flight attendant and the girl. On one point, Senyonga even contradicted himself.

In his written statement to police, Senyonga penned, "I never touched the young lady with my hands." But in his police interview, he changed the story. "Possibly my hand, um, several times probably, um, brushed over her as we rode the plane. And that's all," he said. It could have been while he was turning the page of the newspaper, he said. (The flight attendant noted that at the time of the alleged incident, there were no reading lights illuminated in that row, making it unlikely that Senyonga was reading a newspaper). Or he might have touched her when he had to lean closer to her because of the snoring man next to him. Or when he took off his shoes.

As he was interrogated, his hands and body were shaking, according to the police report. When asked about Emily, Senyonga estimated her to be 21 or 22 years old. He believed this, he said, because "she was a big girl." He also told police she was mature and that she was well-endowed in the breasts. When asked if he took notice of the pin on her chest, the one that indicated she was an unaccompanied minor, he said he never saw it.

When asked why he thought Emily got up to get a flight attendant, seemed upset, and didn't come back, Senyonga said he thought maybe she was feeling sick. He said he got up after she did because he thought it was an opportune time to use the bathroom, and claimed that when he went back to his seat he took a nap. Basically, Senyonga acted as if nothing noteworthy had taken place on the flight.

But when the officers left the interrogation room for a break, a camera videotaped Senyonga in the same position that the flight attendant had noticed him in — head in his hands — for the full five minutes. When the officers re-entered the room, they told Senyonga they knew he was lying. He didn't argue with them, but he didn't confess, either.

After police took him out of the interrogation room and put him under arrest for alleged child molestation, Senyonga said he wanted to go back in the room so he could tell the truth. "The difference is some [sic] happened, so that's why I'm in this room," he's quoted as saying in a police report. "I am willing to say what I need to say to be able to get this resolved. I'm not willing to confess what's not true, unless you tell me to just go ahead and do that if it will help you, but definitely I know there's some kind of harm for a girl."

"To me, I was with her close," he went on. "That's my truth. Close to her, rubbed her, my elbow and possibly my hand just went close to her, but I never put my hand in her pants. But I'm willing to take a blame. I'm willing to take a blame to get this resolved." When the interviewers asked Senyonga if he was willing to give a DNA sample, he said he thought he needed an attorney.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
All
 
Next Page »
 
My Voice Nation Help
3 comments
tspoon765
tspoon765

The above facts, when coupled with the knowledge that the vast, vast majority of child abuse and child sex abuse are performed by someone the minor knows, can only lead us to conclude that the purpose of such policy cannot rationally be the protection of minors. The minors in question would in fact be safer seated next to strangers, male or female. Yet there is no policy of removing minors from the comparitively risky proximity of their parents while on board aircraft.

 The only achievement of such policy is the ritual humiliation of males. I would need a lot of convincing not to conclude that this was also it's prime intent.

Puzzled
Puzzled

Let's see.  Hundreds of thousands of children per year travel alone.  We're told that one airline had more than 400,000.  A fair estimate would be 1 million total, which is probably low.  So in 20 years, that's 20,000,000.  In those same 20 years, they found 10 incidents, although there's dramatic language stating there could be more - let's say there were 20.  20/20,000,000 = 1/1million.  So if your child flies unaccompanied, they have a 1 in a million chance of being molested - high end.  What are their chances of dying in the bathroom?  Being in a car accident?  Being struck by lightening?  No, please, let's panic like crazy people about this literally 1 in a million chance.  

 

Now, on average, those children probably sat next to 1 person, who half the time was male.  So, there are 250,000 instances of males sitting next to children, meaning that, with roughly (high end) 1 molestation per year, a male sitting next to a child has a 1 in 250,000 chance of molesting them.  Is that a good reason to label all males as likely pedophiles?  Is that a good reason to humiliate any male who ends up sitting next to a child?

 

Meanwhile, next to this article there is a link to another one dealing with the unfortunate fact that so many young black males are accused of being in gangs.  I suspect it is for the same reason that so many males in general are accused of being child rapists.

 
©2014 SF Weekly, LP, All rights reserved.
Loading...