Man Accused Of Groping Unaccompanied Minor On American Airlines Flight

Image courtesy of yooperann

Yet again, we find ourselves in the unfortunate situation of having to write about an airline passenger accused of inappropriately touching another person on their flight. In the case of a recent incident reported on an American Airlines flight, a man allegedly groped a 13-year-old girl traveling alone.

An Oregon man was charged with abusive sexual contact after being accused in the incident on a flight from Dallas to Portland last week, CNN reports, citing a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court.

A flight attendant told the man other seats were available but he chose to sit in a middle seat next to the teen, the complaint said, and then allegedly started making small talk with her, asking her where she lived and was traveling from, KOIN reports.

The complaint says he leaned against, nudged, and touched the girl with his elbow, and put his hands on her knee and upper thigh three times.

A flight attendant handing out snacks in the aisle saw his hand near her crotch, the complaint says, and noticed a tear on the girl’s face. She ordered the man to change seats, directing him to the back of the cabin, and moved the girl forward several rows.

She alerted the captain, and the suspect was arrested on arrival by police and FBI agents when the plane landed in Portland.

The girl told investigators she remembered feeling “frightened and trapped” during the incident, and told authorities she didn’t use the bathroom for the rest of the flight because she didn’t want to run into the man.

“She is already saying she doesn’t want to be on an airplane ever again,” an attorney for her family said. “I sat with the family for about 3 hours… she didn’t want to be touched by her mom, every time she went to give her kind of a loving touch she would jump.”

American Airlines charges $150 extra for unaccompanied minors to fly, assuring parents on its website that “your child is boarded onto the aircraft, introduced to the flight attendant, chaperoned during connections and released to the appropriate person at their destination.’”

The airline declined to comment on the details of the investigation, saying in a statement that “American cares deeply about our young passengers and is committed to providing a safe and pleasant travel experience for them. We take these matters very seriously and have cooperated fully and immediately with law enforcement officials in their investigation of the suspect.”

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