Attempted rape forces Japan Airlines plane to turn back

Passenger burst into bathroom and attacked passenger

Updated: 
Attempted rape forces Japan AIrlines plane to turn back

A Japan Airlines flight was forced to turn around after a woman was sexually assaulted in the plane's bathroom.

Michael Tanouye, 29, allegedly forced his way into the restroom almost two hours after the flight took off.

According to the Daily Mail, he then attempted to take the female Japanese passenger's clothes off, before exposing himself.

Luckily, the woman managed to push the emergency button.

The plane was travelling from Honolulu International Airport to Kansai, Japan.

The Hawaii man was travelling with his mother.

Flight crew, passengers and the woman's mother all attempted to open the bathroom door which the suspect was allegedly blocking.

They finally managed to unscrew the door and rescue the woman.

It took three passengers to keep the man calm following the alleged assault.

The flight then returned to Honolulu where he was arrested and charged with interfering with a flight crew and aggravated sexual assault on board an aircraft.

Before the alleged attack, he was heard shouting words that were incomprehensible, FBI Special Agent Necosie Wilson wrote in an affidavit.

His mother reportedly told a flight attendant that he suffered from depression and was on medication and flight attendants agreed not to serve him alcohol, reports RT.com.

According to the affidavit, his mother gave him a dose of his medication following the incident and he fell asleep.

The passenger, who is being held without bail at the Honolulu Federal Detention Center, appeared in federal court for a brief hearing yesterday.


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