A US woman has filed a civil lawsuit against Delta Airlines, claiming flight attendants failed to protect her when she was sexually assaulted on a flight last July.
According to court documents, the woman was travelling from South Carolina to Detroit, when a man sat down beside her and sexually assaulted her.
CBS Detroit reports that the first class passenger, Christopher Finkley, 41, was convicted of simple assault and indecent exposure.
“And this gentleman, if I want to call him that, was fondling himself in first-class – he was noticed about 40 minutes into the two-hour flight by a flight attendant – the flight attendant apparently called down to Detroit to make sure that police would be there to arrest this man,” the woman’s attorney Jordan Acker told the station.
However, according to a sentencing memorandum, Finkley then moved towards the back of the plane to use the toilet in coach. On the way back to first class, he sat down in the empty aisle seat next to the woman, and reached his hands under her shorts.
“Shortly after the defendant sat down, he placed his hand on the victim’s upper thigh and began to rub her bare skin,” the court document reads. “While he was doing this, the defendant told her that he ‘liked white women’ and asked ‘where’s your man?’ The victims told him to ‘please stop’ and stated ‘my kids are behind me.’”
Despite the woman’s pleas for him to stop, Finkley continued to touch her thigh, claiming her was merely massaging her leg, he then put his hand underneath the woman’s shorts, before returning to his own seat.
“After his return, he resumed rubbing his penis, this time observed by a second flight attendant,” the sentencing memorandum reads. “Upon landing, [the woman] immediately texted her daughter and told her to stay in her seat because she was scared.”
Acker believes the cabin crew could have done more to protect the woman.