According to a release filed by the United States Attorney’s Office on Friday, an American Airlines flight from Charlotte to Salt Lake City was diverted to Tulsa, Oklahoma after a man allegedly grabbed the crotch of a passenger sitting next to him.
James Clayton Cholewinski-Boy, 32, was charged with abusive sexual contact of a female passenger by federal prosecutors “as a result of his alleged actions on the plane,” the release stated.
She said the suspect continued his advances, grabbing her crotch before she pushed his hand away and told him to stop, at which point he held up his hands and apologized.
Fox News reported that after the incident, flight attendants moved the woman and her daughter to a pair of seats away from the suspect.
When the plane landed in Tulsa, Cholewinski-Boy was arrested and airport police charged him with public intoxication before handing the case over to the FBI, which filed a sexual contact complaint.
His status was not immediately clear and court records did not list a lawyer for him.
The plane refuelled in Tulsa and continued to Salt Lake City, arriving about 2 1/2 hours later than scheduled, an American Airlines spokesman said.
The airline said it was grateful for the crew’s response in separating the mother and her daughter from Mr Cholewinski-Boyd, requesting law enforcement and diverting the aircraft.
Reported sexual assaults aboard planes are on the rise, the FBI said in a news release last year.
In 2017, there were 63 in-flight sexual assaults reported, an increase from 38 in 2014.
With Sources and files from Fox News & The Independent
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