Woman Alleges Man Touched Her, Exposed Himself, Masturbated on Flight: DOJ

A Florida man was arrested on Sunday after allegedly committing several lewd and inappropriate acts on an airplane two days prior.

Donald Edward Robinson, 76, of Bonita Springs, Florida, is accused of indecent behavior on a Friday flight from Newark to Boston. A female passenger, 21, accused him of exposing his genitals to her, masturbating, and eventually resting his hand on her thigh, the Department of Justice said in a statement released Sunday. He was arrested at Boston's Logan International Airport on Sunday morning and currently faces one count of lewd, indecent, and obscene acts while in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States.

Robinson's alleged misconduct reportedly began shortly after takeoff, with the female passenger filming a 24-second video of him "fondling and manipulating his penis through his pants." Shortly afterward, she claims that she looked over and saw that he had fully exposed his genitals.

"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," the DOJ's report continued.

florida man exposes himself on flight
A Florida man is accused of exposing himself and masturbating on a Friday flight from Newark to Boston. Above, a representational image of a listing of flights at Newark International Airport. Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

After this exchange, the female passenger reportedly got the attention of another nearby passenger, showing a written message on her phone reading, "Hi, this man assaulted me and touched my leg and is masturbating." She later attempted to report the incident to a flight attendant, but was unable to find Robinson again through the crowd of travelers deplaning.

Security footage obtained from the Logan Airport showed Robinson in the area where the flight arrived, repeatedly looking back over his shoulder as he made his way to baggage claim.

If convicted for his current charge, Robinson could face up to 90 days in prison, a year of supervised release, and a maximum fine of $5,000. Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Dell'Anno is prosecuting the case.

Robinson's alleged misconduct comes as instances of unruly airline passengers have been on the rise over the last two years. On Friday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced the largest fines in its history to two recent travelers, totaling around $150,000.

One of the passengers, traveling on American Airlines from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in Texas to Charlotte, North Carolina, was accused of assaulting a flight attendant who offered to help them after they fell into the center aisle. They then attempted to open the cabin door, repeatedly attacking flight crew members who attempted to intervene.

The other passenger, traveling on Delta from Las Vegas to Atlanta, was accused of trying to kiss and hug another passenger sitting near them. After that, they tried to get off the flight, which was already in progress, refusing to go back to their seat and allegedly biting another passenger before being restrained.