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Senior Flight Attendant Convicted of Molesting Female Cabin Crew Member

Senior Flight Attendant Convicted of Molesting Female Cabin Crew Member

A 50-year-old senior flight attendant has been convicted of outraging the modesty of a junior female colleague by smacking her on the right buttock during a flight between Singapore and the Philipines in 2019. A gag order has been put in place by the court which prevents the airline from being named in order to protect the identity of the victim.

During the trial, the victim told the court how her boss slapped her on the right buttock as she was leaning over while attending to a passenger in the Business Class cabin.

The two crew members were working on a turnaround flight between Singapore and Manila on May 3, 2019. The assault took place around 30 minutes before landing into the Philippines after the Captain had told the crew to start preparing the cabin for landing.

The unnamed female crew member was helping a passenger who had an enquiry about buying Duty Free when the perpetrator passed her in the aisle.

He denied the molestation charge and instead claimed he had simply tapped the right side of the pelvis because he noticed she was leaning against the side of the Business Class seat and that her buttocks were ‘protruding’ into the aisle.

His defence argument was that he was trying to correct the ‘provocative’ posture of the female flight attendant who was 23-years younger than him.

The victim told the court she was attending to the passenger with her “knees slightly bent, upper body slightly leaning forward… (and) perhaps, tilted a bit towards the chair”.

She suddenly felt a ‘smack’ on her buttock which caused her to stand upright. The senior crew member allegedly commented about her posture in a “cheeky” manner but later apologized to her after she raised her concerns with another crew member.

The victim filed a criminal complaint with police two days later. The perpetrator is expected to be sentenced in March 2022.

Last year, a veteran Qantas flight attendant was found guilty of sexually assaulting a much younger female colleague after she accused him of touching her breast and exposing his genitals to her.

John Vatovec was the team leader in the Economy cabin on a flight between Perth and Melbourne in April 2019 when the pair took their allotted break together. The crew rest area was a couple of Economy Class seats which was separated from the rest of the cabin by a curtain.

The ex-flight attendant was fired by Qantas in late 2020 and was fined A$12,000 by the court.


Main photo: Flight attendants walking through Singapore Changi Airport – for illustrative purposes only.

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