New York Man Charged with Abusive Sexual Contact with Sleeping Woman on International Flight
NEWARK, NJ—An Ithaca, New York, man appeared in federal court today on charges he allegedly engaged in abusive sexual contact with a sleeping woman aboard a flight from Tokyo, Japan, to Newark Liberty International Airport, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Eun Jong Lee, 47, was detained upon arrival in Newark yesterday evening, Aug.10, 2014, and arrested by agents of the FBI. He was charged by complaint with abusive sexual contact and appeared this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph A. Dickson in Newark federal court.
According to the complaint filed today:
Lee was seated next to a woman on a United Airlines flight from Tokyo to Newark. While the plane was in the air, the woman B who did not know Lee B fell asleep. She awoke to find Lee’s hand on the front of her shirt, touching her breast through her clothing. Lee then touched the skin of her neck and attempted to place his hand down the front of the woman’s shirt.
After asking Lee to stop touching her, the woman reported the incident to a flight crew member and provided the crew member a written statement describing what happened. The federal government has exclusive jurisdiction over all abusive sexual contact cases that occur in American airplanes in flight.
The abusive sexual contact charge carries a maximum potential penalty of two years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford, with the investigation leading to the arrest. He also thanked the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department for their role in the case.
The government is represented by Shirley U. Emehelu of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.
The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.