Two males accused of sexually abusing ladies on Seattle-bound flights

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The primary incident was in January aboard a flight from London, and the second occurred in March on a flight from Anchorage, based on federal prosecutors.

Babak Rezapour and Nicholas Matthew Stevens are accused of abusive sexual contact on an plane, which is punishable by as much as two years in jail.

Rezapour appeared in US District Court docket in Los Angeles on Thursday. It isn’t clear whether or not a plea was entered. Stevens will seem in US District Court docket in Anchorage, Alaska, on Friday.

Court docket information didn’t point out whether or not the boys had attorneys. CNN was unable Thursday night to succeed in both man.

What prosecutors say occurred in January

On January 10, a girl on a Norwegian Air flight from London was moved by flight attendants to an aisle seat within the center part of the aircraft after one other passenger turned ailing, based on a criticism filed by federal prosecutors in Seattle.

Rezapour, 41, was within the different aisle seat, with an empty seat between them, the criticism says. It was not his assigned seat.

There was turbulence on the flight, so the girl took medicine for nausea and anxiousness and drank a glass of wine, based on federal prosecutors.

Later within the flight, Rezapour, of Van Nuys, California, whom the girl had by no means met, purchased her one other glass of wine.

Women detail sexual assaults and harassment on commercial flights

“After ingesting this second glass, VICTIM described feeling hazy and had issue remaining awake,” the court docket submitting states.

She stored falling asleep however awoke a number of occasions, startled, to search out Rezapour sexually assaulting her, prosecutors mentioned in a press release Thursday.

At one level he used his jacket to protect the exercise, based on the criticism. An FBI agent mentioned Rezapour groped the girl and put her hand on his genitals.

The girl fled to the again of the aircraft, the place flight attendants discovered her on the ground in a fetal place, based on the criticism. She then instructed them what had occurred.

Rezapour denied partaking in undesirable exercise, the criticism says.

The criticism says that Rezapour’s DNA was later discovered within the girl’s underwear.

What prosecutors say occurred in March

On March eight on an Alaska Airways flight from Anchorage, prosecutors say Stevens, 37, was sitting in an aisle seat in the identical row as a 22-year-old girl, who was within the window seat. That they had one seat between them.

Stevens started harassing the girl and he or she instructed him repeatedly to cease, the criticism filed by federal prosecutors mentioned. He requested her to inform him some issues she beloved, based on the criticism, and he or she responded.

Then, the criticism says, he instructed her he beloved “killing animals, killing extra animals and going fishing so I can kill extra animals.” He then goes on to ask, “Who would I’ve to kill to get a lady such as you?” and began joking round about killing individuals, the criticism says. The girl says she turned petrified of him.

At one level he moved nearer to her and, whereas leaning his head on her shoulder, grabbed her thigh and breast a number of occasions, federal prosecutors mentioned.

An airline worker was instructed in regards to the incident and contacted police. The defendant instructed officers he and the girl had touched one another through the flight, based on the criticism.

FBI: What to do if it is taking place to you

“We urge the flying public to report assaults to airline personnel and regulation enforcement and help victims who need assistance,” US Legal professional Annette L. Hayes mentioned in a press release. “The skies will probably be safer for all of us.”

FBI investigations into midair sexual assaults elevated by 66% from fiscal 12 months 2014 to 2017. The bureau mentioned it had opened 63 investigations into sexual assault on plane in 2017, in contrast with 57 in 2016, 40 in 2015 and 38 in 2014.

FBI: Sexual assaults on flights increasing 'at an alarming rate'

FBI Particular Agent David Rodski instructed reporters in June the variety of sexual assaults throughout flights is growing “at an alarming fee,” and added, “We’re undecided why.”

Last year, CNN reported it’s troublesome to find out simply how regularly assaults occur on business flights as a result of no federal regulatory company tracks that knowledge nationwide.

The FBI suggests passengers preserve the armrest between them and a stranger down, and do not give them the advantage of the doubt.

“Offenders will typically take a look at their victims, typically pretending to brush towards them to see how they react or in the event that they get up,” the FBI warns.

If such habits happens, belief your intestine, reprimand the individual instantly and take into account asking to be moved to a different seat. And if an incident occurs, report it to the flight crew instantly, and ask that they document the attacker’s identification and report it.

“It would not matter if you report an in-flight sexual assault — we take it critically, and we’ll pursue it,” says FBI Particular Agent David Gates. “After the very fact, these instances are way more troublesome to show.”

CNN’s Javier De Diego, Omar Jimenez and Rene Marsh contributed to this report.



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