Airline pilot convicted of sex crime

WHEELING – A commercial airline pilot has been convicted of traveling across state lines in order to have sex with a minor female, the U.S. Attorney’s Office reported.

U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II said Mustafa M. Bazbaz, 28, of Oakdale, Pa., pleaded guilty to the felony offense of travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct.

Bazbaz communicated with a 15-year-old female from Jefferson County in December via the website known as MeetMe.com, Ihlenfeld said. He misrepresented his age and name to the victim, claiming to be 17 years old and to be named “Mike B,” the federal prosecutor reported. Bazbaz also sent sexually explicit images of himself to the victim before arranging to pick up the victim near her home in Jefferson County, Ihlenfeld said. Bazbaz then took the victim to a hotel room in Hancock County, where they engaged in sexual intercourse, Ihlenfeld said.

At the time of the incident Bazbaz was employed as a pilot with Republic Airways, and was stationed in Pittsburgh, the U.S. Attorney’s Office reported.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department. The prosecution of the case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert H. McWilliams Jr.

Bazbaz faces up to 30 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and supervision for life.