Brave Laura is speaking out for the first time about what happened to her on Malaysia Airlines flight MH20 because she feels let down by the actions of the airline. In this international investigation, Sunday Nights chief investigations reporter Ross Coulthart goes in search of answers. Courtesy Channel Seven.
The alleged victim of a sexual assault on Malaysia Airlines flight MH20. Source: Channel 7
AN Australian woman has spoken out about her alleged sexual assault on board a Malaysia Airlines flight earlier this month.
The 26-year-old alleged victim will tell her story on Seven's Sunday Night this weekend, as well as showing chilling footage taken from her phone during the reported attack.
The woman, known only as Laura, claims she was assaulted by the chief steward on flight MH20 from Kuala Lumpur to Paris, August 4.
"I couldn't stop it, I just froze, I was just scared," she tells Seven reporter Ross Coulthart in the promo.
In audio of the interview, Coulthart can be heard asking Laura why she didn't scream for help.
"I keep saying 'why didn't I scream, why didn't I shout, why didn't I stop it?'
Laura's emotional interview with Sunday Night will air this weekend. Source: Channel 7
"I'm a strong person because I can, I can do that, I know I can, but when I was in the moment I couldn't. I felt so scared, so petrified."
In the recording Laura took mid-flight following the alleged assault, a woman's voice can be heard crying to a man sitting across the aisle as he shakes his head.
She says: "You did, you did, you did, don't lie. It's what you did.
"I'm so scared, I just want to get off this plane ... I don't want to see you, go away, you give me the creeps, you dirty old man," the woman can be heard saying in the audio.
Upon landing at Paris' Charles de Gaulle Airport, the male steward — who is married with three daughters — was detained by police and two weeks later is still behind bars after making admissions.
The alleged victim says she is speaking out for first time about what happened because she feels let down by the actions of the airline.
Malaysian Airlines was in serious financial trouble even before the twin disasters of MH370 and MH17 claimed the lives of 537 people. Source: Flickr
Malaysia Airlines has confirmed that the allegations were made, and has vowed to assist French authorities in their investigation, adding "the safety, comfort and wellbeing of our passengers is always our highest priority".
"Malaysia Airlines expects and accepts nothing short of the highest standards of conduct from its crew and takes any such allegations very seriously," it said.
Sexual assaults on planes are rare, but they do occur and can be difficult to investigate. In February Carlos Vasquez was sentenced to three years probation and fined $3000 for molesting a 15-year-old girl who sat next to him on a flight from Houston to Washington, US. She pretended to be asleep during the ordeal.
A month earlier passenger Bawer Aksal was sentenced to eight years in jail for sexually assaulting a woman on a United Airlines flight from Phoenix to Newark, US. The victim told the court: "I will never be the same person I once was".
Last September an Indian man was sentenced to nine months jail for a mile-high sex attack,
Mile-high crimes usually occur on overnight flights, FBI Supervisory Special Agent Drew Ptasienski told US news site NBC News 41.
"The crew isn't walking around (as much)," Ptasienski said. "It's a crime of opportunity."
The allegations comes as Malaysia Airlines continues to battle for survival following recent tragedies. Flight MH370 disappeared mysteriously in March with 239 people aboard, en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. No trace has been found and the airline was widely criticised for its handling of the crisis. On July 17, MH17 was shot down over Ukraine, with 298 people killed.
The airline is in deep financial trouble, with predictions it's burning through its cash reserves at a rate of around $2.16 million per day, and bookings continue to slide.
Sunday Night airs 8.45pm Sunday, August 24 on Seven.
A plane carrying coffins with the remains of victims of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17. Source: AFP