“I was trapped and unable to flee,” the victim said. “And with my daughter and her friends in the row behind me, I was frozen in terror.”
A Michigan woman is suing Delta Airlines for $10 million after she says they allowed an openly masturbating passenger to “freely roam the plane,” resulting in her sexual assault, she claimed.
Rhonda Costigan was flying from South Carolina to Detroit with her 15-year-old daughter when Christopher C. Finkley, of South Carolina, sat down next to her and started groping her thigh while saying he “liked white women,” the suit claims. He then put his hands up her shorts.
“I was trapped and unable to flee,” Costigan said at a press conference Tuesday on Tuesday, reported Michigan Live. “And with my daughter and her friends in the row behind me, I was frozen in terror.”
Costigan’s attorney said that Finkley was likely intoxicated and served alcohol on the flight.
After Finkley returned to his seat, he began rubbing his penis, which was exposed with the fly of his pants down.
Finkley was arrested after the flight landed and reportedly initially denied masturbating when speaking to officers. When told there were multiple witnesses, however, Finkley changed his story and confessed to touching himself under his pants, calling it his “happy place.” According to CBS News, Finkley was sentenced to a week in jail back in March after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of simple assault.
Costigan said she later learned at Finkley’s sentencing that Delta employees had seen him masturbating earlier in the flight, too, but didn’t take steps to keep him from harming anyone. Delta would not comment on the pending lawsuit.