Off-Duty Pilot Facing Felony Complaint After Groping Sleeping Teenage Girl
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (CBS Las Vegas) – An off-duty pilot for Delta Air Lines is facing a felony complaint after he, according to a complaint received by officials with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, groped the buttocks of a sleeping 14-year-old passenger.
According to the Smoking Gun, 45-year-old Michael James Pascal was named in the complaint, which was filed in a U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City, Utah.
In documents obtained by the website, the girl – who was said to have been on crutches due to a foot injury during the flight – reported to FBI investigators that Pascal first engaged her in conversation about the crutches while seated next to her.
She added, “I made sure I had the armrest down because I usually feel uncomfortable when people get to close to me.”
During the flight, she fell asleep, and told officials that she had pulled her knees into her chest and rested her feet on the seat in order to get more comfortable.
When she awoke, she felt Pascal’s hand pressed “under the left cheek of her buttocks … far enough under [it] that his fingers were touching her inner thigh.”
The incident report additionally noted that she could feel that his hand was palm-side up and “gripping her buttocks but not moving.” The arm rest between the two had also been pushed out of the way.
The Smoking Gun learned that when she confronted him and pushed his arm away with her elbow, he claimed to be asleep – despite his eyes being open the entire time – before going to the bathroom. The teenager was subsequently moved to a different seat in the plane’s last row after telling a member of the flight crew what had happened.
He was charged with abusive sexual contact on an aircraft. A detention hearing is said to be scheduled for Friday.