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Aussie woman films sexual assault on Malaysia Airlines.

By SHAUNA ANDERSON

 Warning: This post deals with sexual assault and may be distressing for some readers.

Laura Bushney alleges she was sexually assaulted mid-flight on Malaysia Airlines

For 26-year-old Perth woman Laura Bushney, flying with Malaysia Airlines just weeks after the crash of MH17 and just months after the disappearance of MH370 was an experience filled with anxiety.

What she never expected was for the terror she feared to actually happen to her.

On 4 August, Laura Bushney was flying to Paris to meet her boyfriend. She had chosen Malaysia Airlines because it was discounted but still she was scared, worried by recent events.

Three hours into the flight, with the plane in darkness, it hit turbulence. For an anxious flier it was the last thing she needed.

The Chief Steward, a man named Mohd Rosli Bin Ab Karim, sat down beside Laura in the aisle seat.

She said he grabbed her hand and told her to lie down and sleep. Laura said she felt so uncomfortable with his attention that she asked him to get her a drink, but when he returned he placed her feet on his lap and began massaging her legs.

A clearly deeply affected Laura told Sunday Night she was scared and petrified, and was so caught in the moment that she never told him to stop.

Laura cried as she recounted the details of her assault.

But as a safety measure, Laura turned on the video of her mobile phone in the darkness of the cabin and began recording the incident.

“He moved his hand towards my belly button. I was pushing his hands away. I thought by pushing his hands away I was telling him I did not want that to happen,” she told Sunday Night.

Laura told Sunday Night the steward then left but returned half an hour later. This time the alleged assault became more serious. It progressed to what Laura alleges was rape.

From Sunday Night:

Laura: “I just froze and he then puts his hand inside my pants”

Ross  (Reporter): What did he do to you?

Laura: He puts his fingers inside me.

Ross: That’s rape.

Laura: Yes.

Ross: Did you try and stop him?

Laura: No.

Ross: Just talk me through I think a lot of people back home might be thinking why did you not just smack his hand away turn the light on and immediately call for a steward?

Laura: As soon as it happened he got up I think the thought process of what he had done, he realised what he had done and walked away. It happened so fast I was absolutely frozen.

A young woman sitting in front of Laura, Canadian Sophie Lachance, heard Laura crying and went to comfort her.

Sophie Lachance urged Laura to tell the authorities.

“Somebody touched my arm … and I remember I woke up and I saw her face full of tears and she was sobbing really, really strong,” Sophie Lachance said.

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Sophie insisted Laura report what happened and so with Laura in tears she confronted Mohd Rosli Bin Ab Karim, accusing him of the sexual assault.

” I’m so scared I don’t want to see you. You’re a dirty old man.” her video recording shows her telling him.

“You’ve got a wife at home and you’re putting your hands down my pants, why would you do that? That’s rape.”

Malaysia Airlines then moved Laura to the First Class cabin where her alleged attacker pleaded with her to give him a second chance.

Laura recorded this contact as well telling him that she would never be able to forget the attack.

Upon arrival at Charles de Gaul airport, the Chief Steward was arrested. He was taken away for questioning and Laura was given a physical examination and a DNA swab.

After 14 hours of questioning, under French law Laura had to confront Rosli one last time. Laura says she refused to look at him, facing her chair in the other direction.

Laura recorded footage of the confrontation with her alleged attacker

Her attacker told police that it was not his intention to assault her.

“He said that he never intended to do that and he said that I didn’t resist him,” she said.

Malaysia Airlines has since put out a public statement but, according to Sunday Night, has not contacted Laura or offered any counseling or compensation.

The statement said:

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.

Mohd Rosli Bin Ab Karim is in custody in Paris.

Mohd Rosli Bin Ab Karim is in remand in a French prison and now faces up to 15 years jail.

Laura told Sunday Night she plans to return to Australia later this week.

If this post brings up issues for you please contact Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia on 1800 737 732.

 Or Lifeline on 13 11 14.