A 14-year-old girl can pat herself on the back tonight for being her own hero. That's because she had the backbone to stand up to a 45-year-old man who may have been taking indecent liberties with her as she slept aboard a Delta flight from Detroit to SLC. The victim, who isn't being named due to her age and the seriousness of the crime, claims that Michael James Pascal put his hand on her buttocks, far enough for his fingers to touch her inner thigh.
Pascal, who is a pilot for Delta Airlines, was off duty at the time and traveling as a non-revenue ticketed passenger (meaning he was flying for free due to his status as a pilot). He claims he had fallen asleep and didn't realize what had happened, but the 14-year-old girl recalls that he was "very clearly awake" and was laying with some of his weight on her while touching her buttocks with his opened palm.
The girl did the right thing by elbowing Pascal when she woke up and noticed wha the was doing. She then immediately notified flight crew who separated the two to different seats. When the plane landed in Utah, the 45-year-old off duty pilot was taken in by police. He has been charged with felony abusive sexual contact on an aircraft. Hopefully more charges follow!
R.S. -- the teen in question -- did something that few people are brave enough to do whether they be teens or adult women. It's very difficult to be placed in the situation in which she found herself. She handled it wonderfully and set a fine example for others who may be faced with similar incidents.
As for Michael James Pascal, who knows whether or not he is telling the truth about "falling asleep" -- but it sure does seem like a convenient excuse. The girl claimed that she put down the arm rest between them because she didn't feel comfortable -- yet it was up when she woke up to find him touching her. It seems that he took the conscious move to lift the arm rest up, but why? Clearly this man has some explaining to do -- especially if this was just a joy ride of a flight and he had no true business flying from Detroit to SLC. This may seem a little speculative, but if this guy is a predator those free flights could easily become hunting grounds.
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