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Woman alleges she was sexually assaulted while asleep on Spirit Airlines flight

A woman says she woke up on a plane to find she was being sexually assaulted.

Tia Jackson, 22-year-old was flying with Spirit Airlines from Atlanta to Detroit when she woke up shortly before landing to find a man allegedly touching her.

The student said she was sitting in a middle seat, next to a friend by the window, with the man allegedly responsible for the attack sitting in an aisle seat.

During the flight, Tia said she put in her AirPods and went to sleep, leaning on her friend with her back facing the man.

According to Tia she felt the person next to her touch her, just before the plane landed and didn’t know what it was at first.

“Then I thought, maybe he just bumped me,” she said to CNN on Wednesday.

 

She tried sleeping again and she felt the man’s hand inside the back of her pants.

 

She immediately jumped up, pushed the call button, she said, and told the man, “Hey — you are going to stop touching me! Get off of me!”

Jackson said she notified the flight attendant, but she wasn’t happy with the attendant’s services as the attendant only offered to move her seat, but she refused because she felt like she was being punished for what he had done and she didn’t want to leave her female friend.

“He touched my bare ass! He needs to be moved!” she told the flight attendant according to quotes obtained by CNN.

“He needs to be held responsible. He is a predator. He displays predatory behavior. Who knows who else he has done this to,” she said.

“I don’t want anyone else to ever have to fall victim to him.”

When the plane landed she spoke to the pilot and he told her to talk to the gate agent.

Tia said she felt mistreated by the airline so she filed a report with the police at the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport.

Spirit Airlines, responding to the allegations said in a statement.

“We take this claim seriously and are in direct contact with the guest. We thank our crew for their quick and professional assistance to address the situation,”

“Our flight attendants on board that flight learned of the alleged incident 18 minutes prior to landing when the guest pressed the call button and received immediate attention. Once she told the flight attendant who came to her seat, the flight attendant directed her to a different seat. The cabin crew wanted to move her, as opposed to him, because the move would have left him with an empty seat on one side and an aisle on the other.”

“Law enforcement began its investigation immediately after the flight arrived,” the airline said.
“We are supporting law enforcement as they investigate. Questions about that investigation should be directed to them.”

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