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Pilot charged with inappropriately touching girl on flight

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 30 2013 12:40 p.m. MDT

A Delta Connections pilot faces a criminal charge for allegedly inappropriately touching a 14-year-old girl on a flight to Salt Lake City last week.

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SALT LAKE CITY — A Delta Connections pilot faces a criminal charge for allegedly inappropriately touching a 14-year-old girl on a flight to Salt Lake City last week.

Michael James Pascal, 45, is charged with abusive sexual contact for "intentionally touching the buttocks" of a person between the ages of 12 and 16, according to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court.

Pascal was commuting from his home base in Detroit to Salt Lake City and was seated next to the girl on Delta Flight 855 last Saturday. The girl fell asleep and awoke to Pascal's hand "far enough under her buttocks that his fingers were touching her inner thigh," according to the complaint.

The girl, who was traveling alone, asked him what he was doing and he quickly pulled his hand away, the complaint states. Pascal apologized and told her he must have fallen asleep.

According to the complaint, Pascal told the FBI that it was possible for his hand to have fallen in the girl's seat while he asleep but does not recall where his hand was when he woke up.

A detention hearing for Pascal is scheduled Thursday in federal court.

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