Man who groped teen on plane to be released to home detention, treatment

By Maxine Bernstein | Oregon Live | May 11, 2017

A man who groped a 13-year-old girl aboard a flight to Portland is expected to be released from jail next week and placed on home detention for six months while he participates in an outpatient treatment program for severe opiate addiction and alcohol abuse.

The treatment program is part of a negotiated 14-month split sentence for Chad Cameron Camp. He received credit for the 11 months already in custody since his June 15 arrest and is expected to spend at least three months in treatment.

Camp, 27, will begin the treatment Mondat at Hazelden Addiction Treatment Center in Beaverton. He'll attend three-hour sessions three days a week.

If he doesn't comply with the treatment program, he will serve the full year and two months behind bars.

He also must register as a sex offender for 15 years.

"I truly am sorry for what took place. There's no ... no apology that will make up for what has happened, what I have done. I'm willing to take full responsibility,'' Camp told U.S. District Judge Michael W. Mosman during his sentencing in federal court Thursday. "I truly am sorry and given the chance, I will do whatever it takes to stay clean and sober.''

On Jan. 19, Camp pleaded guilty to assault with intent to commit abusive sexual contact of a minor and indecent sexual proposal of a minor.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Edmonds said Camp abused a girl who was flying alone "in frightening circumstances on an aircraft, where she had no avenue to leave and where she, due to her relatively smaller physical stature, was overcome by the defendant who persisted in intimidating her and then touched her several times in intimate areas of her body.''

Camp, who is from the Gresham area, had downed four to five mixed drinks before boarding the American Airlines plane in Dallas. He was headed back to Oregon after having just finished a residential treatment program for alcohol dependency in Florida, Edmonds has said.

Camp told a psychologist that he remembers little after drinking. Once on the flight, he said he sat next to a young girl.

"I invaded her space, touching her in her thigh and her groin area. I had inappropriate conversations with her. My words were fairly considered to be indecent sexual exposure,'' Camp said when he entered a guilty plea.

Under the initial negotiated split sentence, Camp was expected to serve seven months in custody, followed by seven months in inpatient treatment.

But no inpatient treatment program in Oregon would accept Camp because he's now a registered sex offender, Edmonds said.

Camp's defense lawyer Stephen Houze called it unfortunate that a residential treatment program was unwilling to take a registered sex offender. Houze said it's not because the programs are concerned he'll abuse another patient at the treatment program, but because others in treatment may have been victims of sexual abuse and his past wouldn't be conducive to a therapeutic community.

Camp's mother, sister and fiancee attended the sentencing hearing. They're committed to supporting Camp and ensuring he succeeds and overcomes his addictions, Houze said.

The teenage victim didn't attend court but her lawyer did.

"We have nothing but complete empathy and concern for her welfare,'' Houze told the judge.

He characterized Camp's actions on the plane as "outrageous and unacceptable behavior.''

"It is completely inexcusable behavior and he's prepared to take the consequences,'' Houze said.

The 11 months in jail is the longest amount of time Camp has been in custody. It's also the longest period that he's been completely clean and sober, his lawyer said.

Camp will be on five years of supervised release. During the supervision, he was ordered to have no alcohol, marijuana or any controlled substances. He also must undergo up to 12 drug and alcohol urinalysis tests a month, a sex offense assessment and polygraph testing.

The girl's family has filed a $10 million lawsuit against American Airlines, saying the flight crew allowed the abuse to last for 30 minutes without intervention and didn't move Camp or offer the girl the opportunity to move despite about half of the plane's seats being empty.

The girl and her family have moved out of state, largely because of the traumatic experience, said their lawyer, Brent Goodfellow. They understand that Camp faced the high end of the sentencing guidelines, with the 14-month split sentence, but no punishment would ease the pain she's endured, he said.

"This has forever changed this family,'' Goodfellow said.