A 46-year-old man from Massachusetts is accused of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman aboard a flight from Tokyo to Dulles International Airport last year, court documents show.
According to court filings obtained by News4, the teenager was a stranger to the man, who was seated next to her aboard a United Airlines flight on July 27, 2018.
The documents allege that the man, who was seated in the window seat, lifted the armrest between him and the teenager in the middle seat and placed a blanket over the victim's leg before sexually assaulting her.
An FBI affidavit describes in graphic detail how the man touched the victim, who was "quietly crying, with tears streaming down her face" before she pushed the man's hands away.
The documents also describe how the victim told three flight attendants that she "froze and did not know what to do," as well as other details of the assault.
The flight attendants, who observed that the victim was "visibly shaken," then moved the victim to another seat because "she was afraid to return to her seat."
United Arlines said in a statement that the "safety and well-being" of their customers is a top priority.
"Our customer was immediately moved to a different seat when the flight attendant was made aware of the issue and we requested law enforcement meet the aircraft on arrival," United Airlines said. "The perpetrator has been banned from flying United. Sexual harassment , inappropriate behavior, intimidation or predation have absolutely no place anywhere in our society - including in our industry and on our aircraft."
The News4 I-Team has found a series of recent sexual assaults on international flights, which mirrors a trend nationwide and at D.C. area airports. This Massachusetts man is the second man to be charged this week with inappropriately touching a woman on a flight into Dulles.