UK markets open in 6 hours 29 minutes

6-year-old boy ‘raped by airline employee’ after missing flight, lawsuit claims

Graig Graziosi
A Latam Airlines A319 takes off from Congonhas airport in Sao Paulo, Brazil: Reuters

A 6-year-old boy flying to Orlando was raped by a LATAM Airlines employee in Sao Paolo after missing his flight out of Brazil, according to a lawsuit filed against the company.

The Orlando Sentinel reported that the boy was flying alone, with a folder full of his travel documents strung around his neck to provide airline employees quick access to his papers. When a miscommunication error between employees left the boy stranded in Sao Paolo, he was put up in a hotel for the night.

The LATAM employee who had been tasked with looking after him raped him the following morning, it is alleged.

The boy’s father is suing the airline for damages in excess of $75,000. The lawsuit accuses LATAM of negligence resulting in traumatic injuries to the boy. A LATAM spokesperson said the company had not been served with a lawsuit.

An airline employee on the boy’s flight from Belo Horizonte, Brazil to Sao Paolo removed the boys documents from his neck and put them in his backpack. Later, a different employee guiding him to his connecting flight failed to find the documents, which included his passports, and Brazilian police refused to let him onto the plane.

During his overnight hotel stay, the boy spent at least 15 hours in a hotel room with only a single employee at a time.

The lawsuit argues that LATAM “knew or should have known, that if left unsupervised its employee … would commit rape of a child.”

An LATAM spokesman said the company had not yet received legal papers but it “takes any allegation of this nature seriously and will fully cooperate with any resulting investigation”.