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FBI agents arrest alleged airborne molesters and gropers

August 18, 2014 Aviation, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Agents of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have been kept busy in America this month investigating accusations by female travellers of having been molested or groped by male travellers.

The first of two cases logged by the FBI involved a domestic flight. A man flying to San Francisco allegedly touched the breast and thigh of a 14-year-old girl seated next to him, and whispered “I love you” in the child’s ear before adding, “Don’t tell your mom,” according to the FBI.

In a separate incident the same week, FBI agents arrested a distinguished professor who was flying into the US. He is alleged to have groped a woman’s breast and then tried to slide his hand down her shirt during a flight from Tokyo to Newark, New Jersey.

Both incidents were recorded by The Smoking Gun, an American website which specialises in publishing court documents, affidavits, charge sheets and the like.

The creepy incident on the flight to San Francisco occurred on a US Airways flight from Charlotte, North Carolina, according to a federal criminal complaint. The FBI has accused a man named Bed Prakash of assaulting the juvenile victim, who was travelling alone.

The teenager told FBI Agent Bianca Betz that Prakash was seated next to her in row 12. Halfway through the trip, the girl recalled, Prakash briefly placed his hand on her outer thigh. He then “lightly touched the breast of the juvenile female on two occasions,” Betz stated.

Prakash subsequently returned his hand to the girl’s leg and “began moving his hand along her thigh in an upward motion,” the complaint alleges.

The teen pushed Prakash’s hand away but Prakash is then accused of making a possibly indecent suggestion and adding “Don’t tell your mom”. After being notified of Prakash’s actions, crewmembers moved the girl to another seat for the remainder of the flight.

Following a hearing in US District Court in San Francisco, Prakash has been released on bail and ordered to surrender his passport. He is scheduled for arraignment on 25 August 2014, at which a Hindi interpreter will be provided for him.

If convicted of the alleged assault, Prakash faces a maximum of one year in prison, five years probation and a USD 100,000 fine.

The other incident reported by the FBI involved a professor at Handong Global University in South Korea. Eun-jong Lee, 47, was detained by federal agents while departing the United Airlines flight on which he allegedly tried to grope a sleeping woman’s breast.

Lee was subsequently charged with abusive sexual contact, a felony carrying a maximum two-year prison term and a USD 250,000 fine.

According to a criminal complaint sworn by FBI Agent Mary Anne Flippo, Lee and the woman were seated next to each other on Flight 78. The woman, who was traveling alone, told agents she did not know Lee.

During the 13-hour flight, the woman nodded off, Flippo reported. She later awoke to find one of Lee’s hands “located on top of her shirt and touching her breast through her clothing.” Lee then allegedly “touched the skin of the victim’s neck and attempted to place his hand down the front of her shirt”.

When the woman told Lee to stop touching her, he got up and walked to a restroom at the far end of the aircraft. The victim reported the incident to flight crewmembers and subsequently made a written statement of complaint.

During subsequent questioning by FBI agents, Lee reportedly confessed to “among other things, touching the victim in her breast region with his hand”.

Both cases continue to make their way through the courts.

Edited by : Peter Needham

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