Man charged with groping a flight attendant sentenced to six months in prison
Published on: January 28, 2022 07:00 (EAT)
- Enio Socorro Zayas was sentenced on Monday in US District Court in the Southern District of Florida.
- Zayas was indicted after an incident on August 6, 2021, aboard American Airlines flight 1723, traveling from Cancun to Miami International Airport.
- The flight attendant, believing Zayas was asleep, placed a snack package on his lap.
A man charged with groping a flight attendant
has been sentenced to six months in prison.
Enio Socorro Zayas was sentenced on Monday in
US District Court in the Southern District of Florida, according to court
Zayas was indicted after an incident on August
6, 2021, aboard American Airlines flight 1723, traveling from Cancun to Miami International
According to an affidavit in support of the
criminal complaint, the flight attendant, believing Zayas was asleep, placed a
snack package on his lap.
When she turned away, the flight attendant
"felt a hand grip the bottom of her thigh and move upwards towards the
lower portion of her buttocks before rubbing firmly from side to side,"
the affidavit reads.
One of the passengers on board corroborated
details of the incident to law enforcement, according to the affidavit.
Zayas pleaded guilty to assault in October.
Disruptive -- sometimes criminal -- passenger
behavior has been a serious problem during the pandemic. Last year was
the worst on record for
poor passenger behavior aboard US airliners.
Nearly 6,000 reports of unruly behavior were
reported in 2021, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
In January 2021, the FAA announced a "zero-tolerance"
policy for unruly passenger behavior that skips warnings
or counseling and goes directly to penalties, which can include heavy fines and
From 1995 to 2020, an average of 182
investigations were initiated per year. In 2021, the FAA initiated 1,081
investigations -- a 494% increase over the historic average of investigations.
As of November 4, the FAA had referred 37 out
of 227 cases for which it had initiated enforcement action to the FBI for
criminal prosecution review. (The FAA does not have authority to prosecute
Those cases are part of growing attention from the
Justice Department on unruly passenger behavior.
Additional cases are being referred to the FBI
regularly, the FAA told CNN earlier this month.