Woman pleads guilty to molesting female passenger on flight

Heidi McKinney (Multnomah County Sheriff's Office)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – An Oregon woman accused of molesting a female passenger during a flight has pleaded guilty to a felony assault charge.

Heidi McKinney entered the plea Friday at U.S. District Court in Portland.

The 27-year-old suburban Portland woman was arrested May 8, 2016, after an Alaska Airlines flight that originated in Las Vegas landed at Portland International Airport. The victim told authorities she had been inappropriately touched by another passenger.

Initially charged with abusive sexual contact, McKinney pleaded guilty to assault with the intent to commit a felony.

The maximum penalty is 10 years in federal prison, but the prosecution and the defense plan to jointly recommend a sentence of three years on probation.

U.S. District Judge Michael Simon scheduled sentencing for June 19.

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