A senior American Airlines manager was taken in to custody by police on child sex charges after being caught in a sting operation, according to reports Monday.
Ray Howland, 55, from Arlington, Texas, was allegedly trying to set up a meeting with children for sex while he was in Pittsburgh on business, New York Daily News reported. He wrote online that he was “looking for a family or a couple of girls.”
Howland made contact with an agent of the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, who he thought was the mother of a 10-year-old girl. He is alleged to have provided graphic details in a series of text messages of what he wanted to do.
He was detained Friday in Moon Township on charges including criminal attempt to commit rape of a child, and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, ABC News reported.
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Howland had been a senior manager at American Airlines for seven years, according to the International Business Times. His LinkedIn profile states that he has worked at the company since 1989.
Howland was one of the first to learn about the highjacking of an American Airlines plane on September 11, 2001, just moments before it struck the World Trade Center, ABC noted.
“American Airlines holds its employees to the highest level of ethical standards,” the company explained in a statement provided to International Business Times. “Employees who violate these standards are subject to disciplinary action, which may include immediate termination. We are cooperating fully with law enforcement and do not intend to comment on this case publicly out of respect for all involved.”
Few further details are available at this stage in the investigation, but New York Daily News said that the police are considering the possibility that Howland targeted other families.
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He is currently being held on a bond of $150,000 and is due to appear in court on July 7.
Photo Credit: WPXI