SALT LAKE CITY — A Delta Connections pilot accused of inappropriately touching a 14-year-old girl during a flight from Detroit to Salt Lake City was convicted Thursday in federal court.
Michael James Pascal, 45, was indicted on two counts of abusive sexual contact for "intentionally touching the buttocks" of a 14-year-old girl, according to charging documents.
Pascal was convicted on both charges following a three-day jury trial this week before U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball that started Tuesday. The jury took just a couple of hours to reach a decision.
Pascal, who has homes in both Texas and Park City, will remain free until sentencing on July 29. He faces up to two years in federal prison for the first count and up to three years for the second count.
On Oct. 26, 2013, Pascal, who was not piloting the plane that day, was commuting from Detroit to Salt Lake City and was seated next to a teen girl. 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 his hand had fallen into the girl's seat while he was asleep, but he does not recall where his hand was when he woke up.
A federal grand jury indicted Pascal in November 2013.