Twist in pilot’s teen sex scandal
THE New Jersey millionaire pilot jailed for having sex with a minor, including on his private aeroplane while it was on autopilot, has been sued by his victim, according to reports.
The victim, now 18, alleges that 53-year-old Stephen Bradley Mell sexually abused her nearly three dozen times - and confessed to her that there were other underage victims.
She claims that as a result of Mell's abuse, she has "suffered permanent, severe and continuing injuries, including … depression, low self-esteem and confidence, suicidal tendencies, physical and psychological trauma, pain and suffering…," MyCentralJersey.com reported, citing the legal action.
Mell, a married father of three and the former CEO of an investment firm, pleaded guilty last year to engaging in interstate travel to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor as well as child pornography.
He is serving his seven-year sentence on the federal charges at the Allenwood Penitentiary in Pennsylvania.
The suit claims Mell pursued the victim as a 13-year-old, and after she finished the eighth grade, he went on to sexually abuse her, NJ.com reported.
The victim says Mell would give her large sums of money, follow her around a pre-prom party, flew her and her mother on a helicopter over New York City and encouraged her to take flying lessons at Somerset Airport, the news outlet reported.
She initially turned down Mell's advances but eventually gave in and had a sexual relationship with Mell from June to November 2017, the suit says, according to NJ.com.
"Mell confessed (to the victim) that he had four prior relationships with four other of his daughter's high school friends in the summer of 2016," the suit states, alleging that three of the alleged victims were from his daughter's high school, while the other was a member of his daughter's choir group, according to the news outlet.
On July 20, 2017, Mell and the victim met up for a private flight out of Somerset Airport to Barnstable, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod where "about halfway through the flight … Mell suggested that they have sexual intercourse in the cabin", the suit states.
The suit also alleges there were at least 34 sexual encounters and the abuse occurred at homes Mell owned in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, according to NJ.com.
The lawsuit, which also names Mell's wife, Kimberly Ruggles Mell, alleges a violation of the child sexual abuse act, child pornography, assault and battery, emotional distress, false imprisonment and invasion of privacy, NJ.com reported.
This article originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission