An Australian flight attendant abused his position of trust over a seven-year period, abusing dozens of young children in the Philippines where he travelled both through his work as an international flight attendant and during vacations. Today, Chih Chen was sentenced to 18 and a half years in jail after being found guilty of 35 serious child sex and exploitation offences.
The 52-year-old former flight attendant who was sacked after the allegations came to light in 2017 abused at least 26 female child victims in the Philippines who were aged between 12 and 17 years. Chen travelled to the Philippines on 25 separate occasions between 2010 and 2017.
He will have to serve at least 14-years in prison before being considered for parole. Chen has been held in custody since his arrest in June 2017.
Chen faced three charges of persistent sexual abuse of a child under 16, seven charges of engaging in sexual intercourse with a child under 16 and 12 charges of production child pornography material. He was also charged with eight counts of ‘procuring’ a child to engage in sexual activity and one count each of importing and possession of child pornography.
During the trial, it was revealed that Chen had amassed more than 9000 pictures and videos of his victims. Chen paid some of his victims and sent them abusive messages asking them to find him new victims – including their own siblings.
In 2013, a pilot for British Airways was also accused of using his position to abuse young children who he met in Africa through his work with the airline’s in-house charity. At the time, British Airways said the allegations were both “shocking and horrifying” but that it did not take any “legal responsibility” for his actions.
Nonetheless, British Airways agreed to pay an undisclosed sum of money to his victims.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.