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Man Arrested On Suspicion of Raping Seat Mate in Business Class of United Airlines Flight to London

Man Arrested On Suspicion of Raping Seat Mate in Business Class of United Airlines Flight to London

A 40-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of raping a female passenger in the Business Class cabin of a United Airlines flight from Newark (EWR) to London Heathrow (LHR). The alleged serious sexual assault occurred during an overnight flight on January 30 but has only now come to light.

The Metropolitan Police has confirmed that a man was arrested on suspicion of rape after the distraught victim made a complaint to flight attendants aboard the airplane.

United Airlines flight UA14 departed Newark at around 7:15 pm for the short six-hour overnight flight to London. Police officers boarded the Boeing 767 just before 7 am and took the suspect into custody.

According to The Sun, the victim didn’t know the man until shortly before the flight when they met in the United Business Class airport lounge and started drinking together. Sources say the pair continued drinking and chatting together onboard the flight.

“The woman said she was raped by the passenger during the flight while others were asleep,” the anonymous source told

“She was distraught and reported it to cabin staff who radioed ahead to police, who were waiting as the plane came in to land.”

The man was taken into custody at Heathrow Police Station where he was swabbed for forensic evidence and then interviewed by specialist officers. He has since been released under investigation as enquiries continue.

The victim was taken to a specialist sexual assault clinic where intimate evidence of the alleged crime could be recovered. Sources also claimed forensic officers carried out a detailed search of the ‘Polaris’ Business Class cabin where the crime allegedly took place.

Although allegations of inflight sexual assault remain rare, they aren’t unheard of. Victims are often scared to come forward immediately after the offence because they fear flight attendants might not believe them or that the local authorities in the country they are flying to might not take the allegation seriously.

The Association of Flight Attendants (AFA-CWA) which represents United’s crew members has long called for flight attendants to receive more training and support in dealing with these kinds of allegations.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said: “At 06:39hrs on Monday, 31 January police at Heathrow Airport were alerted to an incident on an inbound flight.”

“Officers met the aircraft on arrival and arrested a 40-year-old man on suspicion of rape. He has been released under investigation. The complainant, a 40-year-old woman, is being supported by specialist officers and enquiries are ongoing.”

View Comments (2)
  • Are we so sure it wasn’t a Met Police officer who did it! The police are the most corrupt institution their officers should walk in shame for all the harm they do!

  • First, let me state that I am female. I am a lifelong wine and cocktail drinker, and fully aware of the effects of alcohol. This woman was drinking and chatting with this guy, and while everyone was asleep, he raped her … and nobody noticed? They didn’t make any noise at all? She did not scream or call out for help? She didn’t bang her fist on something to make a noise? She did not get up and run down the aisle for protection? This is a story almost impossible to believe unless she had passed out from intoxication. It could have happened, of course, and the evidence will prove it.

    For the record, I am becoming increasingly weary of females accusing males of rape under odd circumstances such as this. Men’s lives are being ruined with charges such as this. Accusing middle-aged men of sexual misconduct while they were in college is a perfect example of this insanity. Ladies, if you’ve been drinking, please think carefully about what actually happens to you. If you are being violated, report it when it happens, don’t give the lame excuses mentioned above. And think about your own behaviour before you decide that you’ve been raped.

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