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Florida man charged with masturbating in his seat and feeling up the woman next to him on a flight from Newark to Boston

A Florida man who allegedly tried getting off on a plane before he got off the plane was arrested at Logan Airport Friday, the US Attorney's office reports.

Donald Edward Robinson, 76, of Bonita Springs, FL, was charged with one count of lewd, indecent and obscene acts while in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States, the US Attorney's office reports. An affidavit from an FBI agent called into the case says the incident was on United Airlines Flight 1663, after transferring at Newark from a flight from Cleveland.

According to the US Attorney's office:

Robinson allegedly engaged in masturbation and exposed his penis to a 21-year-old female passenger seated next to him while onboard a flight from Newark to Boston. Robinson then placed his hand on top of the victim’s thigh without her consent.

Shortly after departure, the victim recorded a 24-second video of Robinson allegedly fondling and manipulating his penis through his pants. A short time later, it is alleged that the victim looked over and saw that Robinson had exposed his penis. Approximately five minutes before landing, Robinson allegedly placed his hand on the victim’s thigh, prompting the victim to ask why he was touching her, to which Robinson withdrew his hand and looked out the window. It is alleged that the victim then got the attention of another passenger and displayed a message on her phone, “Hi, this man assaulted me and touched my leg and is masturbating.”

During the deplaning process, the victim approached a flight attendant about the incident but was unable to point Robinson out due to the volume of passengers deplaning. It is alleged that security footage captured Robinson, upon exiting the secure area of the terminal, repeatedly looking back in the direction from which he came while proceeding to the baggage carousel level.

Robinson now faces up to 90 days in prison and a fine of up to $5,000, the US Attorney's office reports.

Innocent, etc.

Free tagging: 
PDF icon Complete FBI affidavit505.69 KB

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How disgusting can some people get?

What right did that guy have to start hitting on the woman by masturbating and exposing himself to the woman. Good for the woman for asking why he was touching her, thus forcing him to withdraw his hand, and then getting the attention of another passenger through a texted phone message pointing out what was going on.

That guy sounds like he needs a good kick in his balls, and/or a clop in the chops. That would've really served him right!!

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Isn't nearly as severe as one would expect.

What's the potential jail and/or fine for doing the same thing on the T?

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Should be more like 90 months.

As for the T, remember in Massachusetts the criminal is the victim. No enforcement, no punishment.

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Can the victim file a civil suit against the perp?

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Up to two years.

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It says something about how used to inappropriate behavior women are that this young woman didn't get up and get a flight attendant when the behavior started. I don't blame her, but I'm stunned that she just sat there while he masturbated and exposed himself and didn't say anything until he touched her - except I'm not, because unfortunately we get used to having these things happen in buses and subways and therefore begin to assume there's no point trying to do anything about it.

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Other passengers too.

Several years ago I had to go to SF for an event. It started on a Friday, but I was going to fly Thursday. Welp we were suppose to get a storm Wednesday night, so I went to the airport Monday evening to see if I could be thrown a flight (vs having me come back Thursday & just being rebooked and most likely missing most of the event). Well it worked, and I was well on my way... abiet on very full plane. Not a single seat open.

The row behind me were 2, self described, drunk girls from NH who were moved onto this flight to Logan from Manchester. And in the window seat was this business traveler guy.

Well the flight crew being tired (the plane was delayed) and a full flight, they kinda over served people. Esp the girls and the business guy behind me.

Bout half way thru the flight I had to use the lavatory, and I got from my seat, turned my head to look to see if the rear lavatory was free (I was near the rear). And what do I see when I look down a bit, one of the girls in the row behind me is bent over the business man.. and well, making both of them members of the mile high club.

I mean gross. really. And this was coming from a person who did far more worse things later at the event I was going to (as it was a 'bear event' where its a lots of nakedness and booze)

You'd think someone would see/say something. I did tell the cute gay boi flight attendant when I got to the lavatory, since its near the galley. His reply "oh we had to kick them out of the lavatory earlier" and didnt see to care. And they were still going at it when I came back to my seat..


My point to this story, other than to tell a funny airplane story is that no one did anything. Not even the flight crew. And yeah while it appeared to be consensual.... Still.. in public? really? on a plane? And no one said a word.

And yeah I could have been direct, but its best to let the crew deal with it. Still not a word, other than them telling them to not doing it in lavatory.

The best part of this story is.. As we were taxing to the gate at SFO, I heard two things from that row. The girls said: "oh my head, I drank too much" and business man said "can you both not be near me when we get off the plane, my wife is picking me up at the airport"

(I kid you not)

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If the guy had the window seat, other passengers may not have noticed (especially when he wasn't showing his junk). And, of course, being consensual (in your story) makes a huge difference.

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That may have been it. he could have been too far away for anyone to see. It was very late flight (we got into SFO at like 12am PST), and people drunk and tired. So it might have been.

But they were not discreet about anything were doing. The girls were drunk and obnoxious when they got on the plane. And when she was nob jobbing him, they were not quiet or silent.. you could hear the wet sloshing sound.

And at minimum the row across from them would have saw.. and anyone who got to use the lavatory woulda saw.

I get that it was consensual.. but in today's age (the story is from 2008), its still doesnt justify that nothing was done. There were kids on the plane, old people.. not everyone wants to see that.

I think some of my point is.. and this extends behind my story and the story above. And frankly, can be applied to any situation where 'something isn't right and I should say something'. People don't want to get involved. And since it doesn't affect them, they don't want to do anything about it.

No one wants to speak up anymore and because of that, we just allow stuff to happen and turn blind eye to it. This is what happened to this woman in the story above. I sure other people saw, and just didn't want to say anything cuz it too inconvenient for them, or avoiding conflict or whatever.

yet we all comment here or whatever.. and wonder why things like this happen. SAY SOMETHING. If more people stand up and say something, things like this might not happen as frequently.

And just remember, the sickos are watching and learning that no will say anything. And they will get more and be more daring. (and often more predatory too) Look upskirts or flasher on the T. It boggles my mind that sometimes this happens on a very crowded trains and no one says anything, because we're so 'used to it' we just carry on.

Sad world we live in.

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I now worry about physical assaults on planes by unhinged passengers mid-flight. That wasn't a fear I had in the past.

I don't blame anyone for making a calculated decision on what's worse: The immediate action or what could transpire from confronting the person about it during the flight.

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Probably three quarters of the passengers are asleep. The flight attendants help that happen by keeping all the lights off (which keeps the passengers quiet and also less likely to request more food & beverages). So it wouldn't surprise me if no one actually noticed or even heard anything over the ambient noise.

I'm sure the flight attendant was blase because it wasn't his first time at the rodeo, nobody was really complaining about it, and the activity seemed to be consensual. Confronting passengers can lead to nasty situations in the air or on arrival which might also involve interviews with law enforcement and/or management.

In this particular case, a Newark-Boston flight is really short; maybe 45 minutes from takeoff to touchdown. The flight attendants probably don't even come through the economy cabin apart to check seat belts before landing. If the seat belt sign was on (and it often is for the entire short flight), maybe she didn't feel comfortable with trying to get up and notify a flight attendant.

And maybe her thought process went along the lines of "eww, this is gross but I don't feel threatened enough to need help" -- at least, until the dude touched her.

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@cybah - I meant the man in the Adam's story may not have been seen by anyone.

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If convicted I hope he would have to register as a sex offender?

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I've attached an FBI agent's affidavit to the original story. By the time state troopers began looking for him, he'd already gotten his two bags and hopped on a shuttle bus to the T stop, where he was arrested.

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