An off-duty pilot is facing charges after he was accused of groping a 14-year-old girl who was seated next to him on a flight from Detroit to Salt Lake City, Utah.
45-year-old Michael James Pascal works as a Delta Connection pilot and was charged with abusive sexual contact on an aircraft according to a felony complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City. The teen was flying as an unaccompanied minor and was seated next to Pascal on the flight Saturday evening.
The girl told police she woke up during the flight to find Pascal had lifted the armrest between them and had his hand under her buttocks.
According to FOX 13 in Salt Lake City, the teenager told police she hit Pascal in the right arm with her elbow. 'What the hell are you doing?' she asked. Pascal, reportedly apologized and told the girl he was asleep. He then left to use the restroom. The girl reported the incident to the flight crew and requested another seat.
Airport Police met the plane when they landed in Salt Lake City.
Pascal stated that he fell asleep with his hands in his lap and does not recall where his hands were when the girl awoke him. He stated he believes it's possible for his hand to have fallen in the victim's seat while he was asleep, the complaint stated.
Pascal was being held at the Salt Lake County Jail and was taken into custody by the U.S. Marshal's Office Tuesday.