Pilot Convicted of Off-Duty, Mid-Flight Grope of 14-Year-Old

A man accused of groping a 14-year-old on a flight from Detroit to Salt Lake City last year has been convicted on two counts of abusive sexual contact. The kicker: Dude was an off-duty airline pilot at the time. And here everyone spends all that time bitching about the T.S.A.

By the way: This story is not to be confused with that other, recent story about a man arrested and accused of groping a 15-year-old girl on a flight from L.A. to Salt Lake City. Different guy!

The AP reports that the 14-year-old victim told the authorities she woke up from a nap and the man's hand was underneath her, "gripping her buttocks." When she asked, "What the hell are you doing?" (you tell him, kid), the accused responded, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I was asleep, I have to use the bathroom."

The victim, who maintains the defendant was "clearly awake," reported the incident to a flight attendant and moved. But perhaps the most frustrating thing about these stories is how the defendants always seem to think if they sound golly-gee-willickers befuddled enough, the accusation will just vanish:

[Michael] Pascal, 45, who worked at the time as a pilot for a regional airline carrier that contracts with Delta, told investigators he fell asleep with his hands in his lap and doesn't know how one ended up underneath the girl.

His lawyer insists that any contact was "inadvertent." Can you imagine if murder defenses worked the same way? "I swear I don't know how that knife got into that fella's belly!"

Apparently this did not convince the jury, which reached its decision within a few hours.

Photo via Getty.