Eighteen-year-old Monica Amestoy says that while aboard her United Airlines flight back to Los Angeles after participating in a high school debate tournament in New York City in October of 2012, she was subjected to a male passenger masturbating while staring at her.
Wow. That takes some balls… and perhaps a previously (?) undiagnosed mental condition.
“After we took off, the guy on the aisle seat across from me started masturbating and exposing himself while staring at me,” says Amestoy who was 17 at the time, and says while terrified and disgusted, she immediately told a male flight attendant.
“I thought he would tell the man to stop or move. He did neither. The flight attendant told me that he couldn’t move me because there were no seats available in my class,” Amestoy explains.
Now… you think that someone – say, the person sitting beside the masturbator… or people in front or behind the masturbator… or the people behind Amestoy would have had the decency to say something to the guy to make him stop.
But no. despite complaining repeatedly to the crew, this poor teenaged girl had to endure the man’s sexually-deviant behavior for the entire six-hour trip!
“Meat or fish? … Sir… you’ll have to place your tray down so I can lay your meal on the table. Thank-you. Hmm… we seem to be having a lot of turbulence surrounding just your seat.”
And then… turning to the terrified teen: “Ma”am… Ma’am? Oh dear, she seems to have gone catatonic… oh, well… sir… meat or fish?”
Of course I have no way of knowing if that happened, but the cavalier way the passenger claims her please for help were ignored is disgusting and troubling.
It seems, however, as though the masturbator would stop every time a flight attendant would pass by… which means the masturbator knew what he was doing was wrong and chose to do it anyways… and did not anyone in the adjoining seats see what was joint on?
The flight attendant said there were no more seats for her to switch to… (in her Class… implying there might have been a better class of seat available)… so there had to be someone beside him or in front of behind her who could corroborate her claims to the flight attendant.
Or… Stew… go ask a man – surely there was a manly man on the plane (as upped to the Stew), to please exchange seats with the poor victim.
The guy isn’t going to masturbate to him (maybe)… he wants to blonde teenaged girl. Take her out of the picture, and hopefully problem solved.
But you know what would have been a better solution to the situation rather than ignoring the passenger?
Amestoy says the man concealed his behavior from other passengers with a blanket – so I suppose he may have lifted a corner for her to look at… stop looking… ignore it… maybe it will go away… BUT… that’s beside the point. Someone should have done something about the masturbator.
After the flight landed at LAX, Amestoy was picked up by her father, who called authorities when they arrived at home.
The male passenger was later convicted for his lewd actions.
Not done, Amestoy and her parents then hired attorney Gloria Allred, who filed a lawsuit against the United Airlines.
“We have filed this lawsuit and are speaking out because we want United to have a clear policy that they implement to protect victim passengers in the future,” states Allred.
The airline should report anyone who engages in sexual misconduct to law enforcement before the offender leaves the plane, Allred explains.
United Airlines issued the following statement in response to the lawsuit: “The comfort and security of our customers is our top priority, and we will closely review this complaint when we receive it.”