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2 accused of texting about child sex crimes on flight to San Jose

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Two people were arrested on suspicion of attempted child molestation after one person was seen texting about it on a flight from Seattle to San Jose. (KGO-TV)

Officials say a sharp-eyed airline passenger spotted another passenger texting about sexually assaulting children, leading officers in California and Washington state to arrest two people and find two young victims.

Michael Kellar, a 56-year-old resident of Tacoma, was allegedly using large smartphone with an enlarged font, which allowed a female passenger behind him to see the content of his messages and notify the flight crew on Monday.

A flight attendant notified an officer stationed at the airport in San Jose, and Kellar was arrested.

During the following investigation, which involved FBI agents from San Francisco and Seattle, 50-year-old Gail Burnworth of Tacoma was identified as another suspect.

It appears two children, ages 5 and 7, were sexually assaulted, investigators said. Authorities say Burnworth had access to children as a baby-sitter and that Kellar was getting to the victims through her.

Seattle and San Jose police declined to discuss the children's relationship to the suspects and how Kellar and Burnworth knew each other.

Kellar was arrested on suspicion of attempted child molestation and solicitation of a sex crime, both of which are felonies.

Burnsworth was arrested in Pierce County, Washington, on suspicion of sexual exploitation of a minor, rape of a child and dealing in depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct, according to San Jose police.

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Detective Nick Jourdenais and Detective Sgt. Brian Spears with the Internet Crimes Against Children unit at (408) 537-1397.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Related Topics:
travelsex crimechild abusearresttextingsex abusemolestationsex abuse against childrensex crimeschild sex assaultSan JoseSeattle
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