After being accused of having sex with a 15-year-old with mental disabilities on his flight, a 71-year-old retired teacher from Michigan is currently being held in jail.
Rex Dale Phelps was charged on Monday with two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a victim between the ages of 13 and 15, as well as accosting a child for immoral purposes, according to the Macomb Daily.
Phelps, the president of an aviation club based at Ray Township Community Airport, is alleged to have had a sexual encounter with the mentally handicapped 15-year-old while they were in the air and to have told her he wanted to marry her when she turned 16.
According to reports, Phelps intended to invite the girl over to his house in May while his wife is out of town so that they can engage in sexual activity.
“I hope I’m not grooming you,” Phelps is alleged to have told the victim several times.
The girl gave a statement claiming that Phelps had flown her to various locations throughout Michigan, and it is claimed that texts between the two showed Phelps discussing showering together and other sexually explicit content.
The two travelled to Frankenmuth, Michigan, on one of their flights in January, where Phelps is thought to have given her his first kiss. Phelps is alleged to have exposed and fondled her breast during a different trip in an airport hangar.
Phelps allegedly told the girl to “stick to the story” and instructed her to delete any text messages between the two of them.
Phelps reportedly acknowledged touching the minor’s inner thigh while she was wearing clothes, but he reportedly denied claims that he also touched her vagina.
Phelps is being held at the Macomb County Jail on a $50,000 bond, according to court records.
Additionally, Phelps could be charged on federal grounds. Phelps retired from teaching engine mechanics at Dakota High School in 2010.