FBI: Off-duty pilot gropes teen girl during flight from Detroit to Salt Lake City

14-year-old girl says man's hand was under her buttocks

By Halston Herrera - Digital news editor
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DETROIT - An off-duty Delta Connection pilot stands accused of groping a 14-year-old girl during a flight from Detroit to Salt Lake City last weekend.

According to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court, the girl was traveling alone Saturday on Delta Flight 844 and was sitting in the window seat of row 44.

READ: Michael James Pascal complaint

The off-duty pilot, Michael James Pascal, was in the middle seat.

The complaint states that after some brief conversation with Pascal, the girl fell asleep with a blanket over her lap and her legs pulled close to her chest with her feet on the seat.

"I made sure the armrest was down because I usually feel uncomfortable when people get too close to me," the girl told investigators.

She woke a short time later to see the armrest had been pushed up and Pascal's hand "under the left cheek of her buttocks." The girl told investigators Pascal's hand was "far enough under her buttocks that his fingers were touching her inner thigh."

She hit Pascal and asked him what he was doing.

The complaint states Pascal said, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I was asleep. I have to use the bathroom," and then got up.

The teen pushed the help button for a flight attendant and was moved to a different row.

Airport police met the plane when it landed.

Investigators said Pascal told them he had fallen asleep and didn't recall where his hands were when he woke up to the girl hitting him.

Pascal, 45, is charged with abusive sexual contact.

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