Woman 'sexually assaulted' as she slept on flight to Hawaii

Updated: 

Woman 'sexually assaulted' as she sleeps on flight to HawaiiPA


A plane passenger says she was sexually assaulted after taking a spoonful of liquid Nyquil to fall asleep on a Hawaiian Airlines flight.

The unnamed woman says she awoke several times during the trip to find Luavalu Seuva'ai groping her underneath her clothing.

According to the NY Daily News, Mr Seuva'ai, 22, pleaded not guilty to charges of abusive sexual contact on board an aircraft before a federal judge on Monday.

The incident occurred on Thursday, 16 August, on Hawaiian Airlines flight 456.

FBI Special Agent Tom Simon told khon2.com: "In this case the defendant is accused of actually groping, sexually, his seat mate on a flight from the Philippines to Honolulu."

Court documents said the pair had enjoyed a friendly conversation, and Mr Seuva'ai say he thought the woman was flirting with him and was just flirting back.

The alleged victim said she called flight attendants when she woke to find Seuva'ai's hand under her bra. He was moved and cabin crew notified authorities.

The NY Daily News reports that Seuva'ai's defense attorney, Sean Coutain, says the incident is "a classic case of 'he said, she said.'"

He told Hawaii News Now."It's really early at this point to be jumping to any kinds of conclusions."

Seuva'ai has been released into his sister's custody after she posted a $25,000 bail, and is set to appear in court in September.

His charge, abusive sexual contact aboard an aircraft, carries a maximum sentence of two years in federal prison.


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