Sexual Assault and Harassment Occurring in the Air

A cramped airplane is the last place you think a sexual assault would occur, but unfortunately, they happen more than you would think.

New Laws Designed to Protect Airplane Passengers

A sexual misconduct task force bill was reauthorized by the Federal Aviation Administration. Airlines have stated they have no tolerance for sexual harassment or assault in the workplace for their employees or for their passengers.

Several high profile cases have lead to this bill. A sleeping passenger was sexually attacked by a Detroit man. The defendant was dealt a hefty penalty of nine years in prison. A man was caught masturbating next to a female passenger for hours. Lastly, two pilots have been charged with drugging and sexually assaulting 2 flight attendants while on the job.

Unfortunately, with most sex crimes, there are few cases that are actually reported to authorities. In 2018 only 38 in-air sex crimes were reported. It is feared that the real number is much higher. Even if the crimes are reported, who they report the crime to can affect the outcome. For instance, if the victim reports the crime to their local police department when they land, the local authorities may not have control if the crime occurred in a different state, county, country, etc.

Authorities Give Advice on How to Defend In-Air Harassment 

Make sure to always place the arm rest down between you and your seat mate. Also do not divulge too much information to strangers. Keep it cordial and limited. If you have a chatty seat mate simply put in earbuds, open a book or laptop to suggest you are not interested in conversation. If someone is grazing your thigh or touching your arm ask them to stop. If they do not comply call over the flight attendant and ask to be moved. Strong, loud language like “Stop it” and “Pervert” will get the attention of others too. This way you’ll be protected by other passengers’ curiosity and concern.

ArborYpsi Law Take Aways

Sexual predators are everywhere, even sitting next to us on a plane. Since our culture involves constant distractions sexual predators are getting more brazen. It is important to always be aware of your surroundings and take preventative steps to protect yourself. However, the airlines are ultimately the ones who should be taking action on keeping their employees and passengers safe. No one should be subject to sexual assault on a plane or any where else for that matter.

Call us

Call Sam Bernstein at 734-883-9584 or e-mail at

Sam Bernstein is an attorney in Ann Arbor, MI who focuses on criminal defense.

Arbor Ypsi Law is located at 2750 Carpenter Rd #2 Ann Arbor, MI 48108.

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Have You Been Charged with a Sex Crime?

Being convicted of a sex crime can greatly impact your life. Being placed on the sex offenders list can affect you in ways you can not imagine. If you have been charged with sexual assault, rape or sexual harassment please call ArborYpsi law today. It is important to get started on your defense as soon as possible to prevent a sex crime conviction from landing on your record. ArborYpsi Law also specializes in sexual assault, rape, sexual harassment, domestic assault, drug possession, assault and battery, and DWI charges. Call Sam Bernstein, an Ann Arbor lawyer, to help with your criminal defense needs. We have and will travel for you. We have practiced in cities like Plymouth, Pontiac, Ypsilanti, Romulus, Jackson and Howell, just to name a few.

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