The female member of cabin crew, who was serving passengers drinks and snacks, said she thought Zayas was asleep and left a snack packet on his lap, according to the criminal complaint.
She claimed that Zayas reached around and grabbed the back of her thigh before moving his hand up to her buttocks.
The flight attendant reported the incident when the plane touched down in the US, with several passengers who saw the interaction backing her up.
Zayas plead guilty to assault in October 2021 and was sentenced in Miami federal court on 24 January 2022.
It’s the latest in a string of incidents in which male passengers have touched female cabin crew ands fellow travellers without their consent.
On 24 December, a woman was flying from Las Vegas to Washington Dulles International Airport when she alleges that she woke up mid-flight to find the passenger next to her fondling her breast.
Prosecutors say that when the woman shouted “get away from me”, the male passenger got up and went to the back of the plane, where he told a flight attendant he “sexually assaulted the woman sitting next to him.”
“The indictment alleges that she awoke to Lopez repeatedly rubbing her right breast. When the passenger opened her eyes, she allegedly observed Lopez leaning over her and his right hand was placed on her right breast,” officials said in a statement.
Meanwhile, in August 2021 a man was taped to his seat and arrested after authorities say he groped female flight attendants and punched a male crew member.
Maxwell Berry, 22, from Norwalk, Ohio had two drinks on the plane and used his empty cup to touch the backside of a female crew member, who said “don’t touch me”, according to the criminal complaint written by the arresting officers.
He later groped the chest of another flight attendant and punched a male member of cabin crew in the face.
Berry was arrested after the Frontier Airlines flight from Philadelphia landed in Miami.
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