A woman who took a shot of Nyquil so she could take a nap on an airplane claims that a man sexually assaulted her while she was sleeping, though his side of the story is that she was flirting with him. While unconscious.
The accuser says that she awoke several times during the Hawaiian Airlines flight from 22-year-old Luavalu Seuva’ai touching, groping, and molesting her underneath her clothes. Though they shared a friendly conversation prior to her nap, according to KHON 2, this hardly warranted the assault, which Seuva’ai said was just “flirting.” He was arrested when the plane landed.
He pleaded not guilty before a federal judge Monday to charges of abusive sexual contact aboard an aircraft, reportedly using the “flirtation” defense.
“Understanding that this defendant is innocent until proven guilty, it’s not the job of the FBI to tell a 22-year-old man to keep his hands to himself,” Special FBI Agent Tom Simon told HawaiiNewsNow. “Fortunately, these cases are very rare but the FBI does get called out about four times a month on different cases where people are misbehaving on aircraft,” he said.
Seuva’ai’s defense attorney, Sean Coutain, said that “[i]t’s really early at this point to be jumping to any kinds of conclusions,” calling it “a classic case of ‘he said, she said.’ ”
Still, Agent Simon’s sentiments continue to reflect what we’re all thinking. “To state the obvious, a woman should be able to fall asleep on an airplane without being groped by her seat mate,” he said.
Well said, Agent Simon.