A woman in the US travelling on a United Airlines flight awoke to find another passenger allegedly f0ndling her br3ast, according to federal officials.
Court documents say the woman had been travelling from Las Vegas to Washington when she fell asleep on the flight.
She then woke up to find Ivan Lopez Jr, 26, ‘rubbing her right br3ast’, with prosecutors saying she shouted: “Get away from me.”
Lopez Jr then got up and went to the back of the plane and admitted to a flight attendant that he had ‘s3xually assaulted’ the woman sitting next to him’.
The flight attendant immediately moved him from the 12th row to the 21st row in order to keep him away from the female passenger.
Officials said in a statement: “According to court documents, it is alleged that Lopez was a passenger on a commercial flight from Las Vegas McCarran International Airport to Washington Dulles International Airport on December 24, 2021.
“During the flight, the passenger seated next to Lopez fell asleep. The indictment alleges that she awoke to Lopez repeatedly rubbing her right br3ast.
“When the passenger opened her eyes, she allegedly observed Lopez leaning over her and his right hand was placed on her right breast.
“The passenger allegedly yelled at Lopez and he moved to the back of the aircraft, where he allegedly admitted to a flight attendant that he s3xually assaulted the woman.”
Lopez Jr now faces a charge of abus1ve s3xual contact aboard an aircraft, and if convicted could be jailed for up to two years.
The victim told an FBI agent that Lopez Jr touched her for around 10 seconds, an affidavit in the case states.
She also said that the contact he made with her was ‘not accidental’, while a flight attendant said Lopez admitted to groping the woman and ‘further stated that he thought was in trouble and that he was sorry’.
Lopez Jr told the FBI that ‘he wanted to get the woman’s attention by poking her on her right shoulder, so that he could ask her what she was listening to through her headphones’, also claiming that turbulence caused him to ‘accidentally’ touch her breast, the affidavit states.
LADbible has reached out to United Airlines for comment.
According to the US Department of Justice, another man was recently charged for a separate incident aboard a flight also headed for Washington Dulles International Airport.
On 2 December, Elias Fethamlk, 40, ‘knowingly interfered with a flight attendant’s duties by disregarding the flight attendant’s instructions and assaulting the flight attendant.
He had been travelling from Dublin, Ireland, on board an Ethiopian Airlines flight when the incident took place.
If convicted, Fethamlk faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.