Couple Arrested for Texting on Plane About Child Sex Abuse

People don’t seem to know that texts are not invisible. If you are checking texts in the vicinity of another person, there’s a good chance they can see what you’re writing. One airplane passenger did not realize that this week, and it turns out to be a very good thing. Because the woman behind him allegedly saw him texting plans to commit child sex abuse, and she notified the police.

The man in the seat in front of her was texting plans to commit child sex abuse.

According to PEOPLE, a schoolteacher flying on a Southwest flight from Seattle to San Jose, California, saw the man in front of her sending texts. He was using a large smartphone and had the text size blown up large, so she could clearly read what he wrote. He was allegedly texting his girlfriend about their plans to sexually abuse children.

”The passenger was sitting on the plane and happened to notice this very large phone and very large text and glanced over and saw references to children and references to disturbing events,” said Seattle Police Department Capt. Mike Edwards.

The woman took photos of the conversation for proof. Then she showed a flight attendant what she’d seen. The flight attendant called the police. Officers waited by the gate at San Jose Airport to arrest the man when he disembarked.

michael kellar
Image: San Jose Police Department

Police arrested 56-year-old Michael Kellar and his girlfriend, 50-year-old Gail Burnworth. She was allegedly the person texting with Kellar about sexually abusing children.

”It was clear from the messaging that the two individuals were planning to abuse the children in the near future,” Captain Edwards said. ”It was set to occur in a few days. These are two very disturbed individuals.”

They were allegedly making plans to sexually assault 5- and 7-year-old children.

When police arrested him, Kellar allegedly claimed they were just role-playing.

Kellar faces charges of two counts each of attempted child molestation and solicitation of a sex crime.

Burnworth faces charges of sexual exploitation of a minor and dealing in depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct. She also faces charges of first-degree child rape.

Kellar was an idiot for texting in public about his plans. But it’s good that he was. Police say they probably would never have caught them if the woman in the next seat hadn’t taken photos and notified the authorities.

(Image: iStockPhoto / ponsulak)

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