Passenger allegedly sexually assaulted crying woman under blanket.
A man has been charged with sexually assaulting a “quietly crying” 19-year-old woman on an international flight.
George Seryogin, of Massachusetts in the US, allegedly groped the woman as she sat beside him on a United Airlines flight from Tokyo, Japan to Virginia, US earlier this year.
According to an FBI affidavit, Seryogin allegedly touched the woman’s knee before putting a blanket over her lap so he could grope her out of sight of the other passengers.
“The victim was also quietly crying, with tears streaming down her face” and pushed his hands off her, the affidavit says, NBC reports.
United Airlines said the woman was moved to another seat when a “flight attendant was made aware of the issue” and police met the plane when it landed in Dulles.
Seryogin, a dual citizen of Russia and the US, has been indicted on a federal criminal charge and faces one count of abusive sexual contact aboard an aircraft in flight.
Seryogin’s lawyer, Mary M. Nerino, said her client “firmly denies the allegations against him”.
“Sexual harassment, inappropriate behaviour, intimidation or predation have absolutely no place anywhere in our society — including in our industry and on our aircraft,” it said in a statement.