A woman on board a United flight from New Jersey to Charlotte, N. C., is accusing a fellow passenger of groping her.
The FBI is investigating an incident aboard a United Airlines flight where a female passenger claimed that she was sexually assaulted by the man sitting next to her.
The alleged incident took place on Tuesday evening during a flight from New Jersey to Charlotte, N. C., WSOC-TV reported. Sources for the site said the woman, 37, was at the height of the crew of the male passenger’s behaviour, telling them that he had his hands between her legs and groped her.
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Flight attendants allegedly between the two and told the passengers to remain seated after the landing. Upon arrival, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg arrived to remove the man, who is 73 years old, from the plane.
The federal government will investigate the claim, as it happened outside the local police jurisdiction Fox 46 noted.
United is also the cooperation with the FBI investigation.
“The safety of our customers is our top priority, and we are working closely with authorities as they conduct their investigation,” said United in a statement.
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The defendant, of Lithuania, later told the researchers that his hand only caught the attention of the woman on the lap of an accident, WSOC-TV reported.
A fellow passenger who spoke to the station, however, said that the man’s account seems highly unlikely.
“I am sure that a woman knows the difference between a hand hitting her in respect of his groped,” said Sherrell Ealy.
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The case is just one of many similar mid-flight groping incidents reported in the past few years. In July, a 28-year-old physician was charged with engaging in sexual acts with a minor after allegedly groping a 16-year-old, while she slept on board a United Airlines flight.
Also this year, an Oregon woman pleaded guilty to licking and groping a female passenger aboard a 2016 Alaska Airlines flight, and a California man accused of groping and kissing a 16-year-old girl while she slept on a separate 2016 Alaska Airlines flight.