Off-duty pilot convicted of groping girl on flight - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Off-duty pilot convicted of groping girl on flight

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - An airline pilot has been convicted of two counts of abusive sexual contact for groping a 14-year-old girl while he was a passenger on a flight from Detroit to Salt Lake City.

Michael Pascal was found guilty Thursday by a jury after a three-day trial in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City.

The girl told investigators that she woke up from a nap on an Oct. 26 Delta Airlines flight and found Pascal's hand under her, gripping her buttocks.

The teen, who was on crutches with a broken foot, said that when she awoke, the armrest was upright and Pascal's hand was "far enough under her buttocks that his fingers were touching her inner thigh," according to the complaint.

She says she elbowed Pascal in the arm and stated, "What the hell are you doing?"

Pascal's attorney said in a statement his client "had fallen asleep and while sleeping wound up leaning on the person next to him. He had no intention in causing harm or any kind of offense to anyone."

The 45-year-old Pascal, who worked as a pilot for a regional airline carrier that contracts with Delta, told investigators he fell asleep with his hands in his lap and doesn't know how one ended up underneath the girl.

He'll be sentenced July 29 and could face up to five years in prison.

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