Warning to Women: Sexual Assaults on Flights Have Tripled and Women Fear Sleeping Near Strangers

At a time when sexual assault cases on flights have more than tripled since 2018, a woman’s attempts to sleep on a red-eye flight from LA to New Jersey were interrupted by a passenger accused of repeatedly groping her, federal prosecutors said. This is what happened.

Just Trying to Sleep

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Federal prosecutors stated that a woman’s attempts to sleep on a late-night flight to New Jersey were disrupted by a passenger who is accused of repeatedly touching her inappropriately.

Under a Blanket as He “Tapped” Her Leg

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On November 27, as the flight departed from Los Angeles, the woman was sleeping with a blanket covering her face when she sensed the person sitting next to her tapping her leg. This is according to a criminal complaint that was released on September 1st.

Wrong Seat

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She was sitting in the window seat, when she felt 18-year-old Hasan Naser Hussain Alenezi’s hand on her leg.

He was in the middle seat, which wasn’t his assigned seat, according to the complaint.

He Was Warned

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The woman briefly fell asleep again before she awoke to Alenezi’s hand on her groin. This time she told Alenezi to stop and warned she’d report him to a flight attendant if he touched her again and then repositioned her blanket to block her body from him.

Flight Attendant Alerted

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Alenezi didn’t stop.

He then proceeded to reach under her blanket and touched her groin again. The woman ultimately stood up and alerted a flight attendant about Alenezi.

Moved to a New Seat…..Finally

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Alenzi was then moved to a new seat until the flight landed.

Charged With Abusive Sexual Conduct

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Alenezi, of Kuwait, is charged with one count of abusive sexual contact on an airplane after an investigation led by FBI special agents, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey said in a Sept. 1 news release.

Released on Unsecured Bond!

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Alenezi was released on a $100,000 unsecured bond and is on home detention with GPS monitoring.

Two Years in Jail

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The charge of abusive sexual contact carries a penalty of up to two years in prison.

Public Outcry to the Story

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When the story broke the comments flowed. Most users showed their anger in their posts.

Deportation

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One user said, “Deportation after his imprisonment is the only answer”

He Will Run

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Another wrote, “Released on home monitoring? He will be back in Kuwait long before he appears before a judge and jury.”

Why a Warning

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Others couldn’t understand the “warning” they commented “I can’t believe she didn’t report him the first time. You’re telling me his hand was on her….., and she just told him to stop and fell back to sleep? Not her leg or shoulder or hair… like between her legs and she didn’t freak out immediately and report him? What? You can bet if I fell asleep on a flight and some strange dude was groping me between my legs, or at all… I’d be reporting it immediately.”

Incidents Tripled

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In 2022, the number of sexual misconduct cases aboard flights in the U.S. more than tripled since 2018, according to federal prosecutors.

Last year, the FBI investigated more than 90 sexual misconduct cases — and 2023 “is on pace to surpass” that number, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington announced in an Aug. 9 news release.

Doctor Accused of Masturbating in Front of a 14-Year-Old

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A recent case in August 2023 details the incident of Sudipta Mohanty, 33, a Boston internal medicine and primary care doctor, who was arrested Aug. 10 on a charge of lewd, indecent and obscene acts while in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the U.S.

He is accused of masturbating while on a Hawaiian Airlines flight to Boston, a 14-year-old girl noticed the man sitting next to her was exposed and masturbating, federal prosecutors said.

Cuddling to Start

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She told an FBI investigator that Mohanty boarded the plane with a woman he was initially “cuddling” with on the flight, the affidavit says.

His Leg Was Bouncing up and Down

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About halfway through the flight, she noticed Mohanty was covered with a blanket as the woman was asleep on his shoulder. Then, she observed “Mohanty’s leg was bouncing up and down” under the blanket.

Shortly afterward, the teen noticed the blanket was on the ground and Mohanty “was masturbating,”

Punishment Doesn’t Fit the Crime

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If convicted on the charge against him, Mohanty could face up to 90 days in prison, one year of supervised release and a fine up to $5,000, according to prosecutors.

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The post Warning to Women: Sexual Assaults on Flights Have Tripled and Women Fear Sleeping Near Strangers first appeared on Back Edge News.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / kudla. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.

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