Fly the nightmare skies: woman sues Delta for sexual assault by masturbating man

First, it was United Airlines dragging and injuring a paid passenger off an overbooked flight.

Then, it’s American Airlines’ male steward hitting a mom carrying two infants with a stroller.

Now it’s Delta Airlines.

A Michigan woman has filed a civil suit against Delta Airlines for its flight attendants doing nothing to stop a passenger, Christopher Finkley, 41, from masturbating and sexually assaulting her on a flight from Myrtle Beach, S.C., to Detroit, Michigan.

Upon deplaning, Finkley was arrested.

Here’s the account of what happened on the Delta flight from the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Michigan’s Sentencing Memorandum, Case No. 16-mj-30520, by Daniel L. Lemisch, Acting United States Attorney:

“On July 27, 2016, defendant Christopher Finkley boarded a Delta flight from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to Detroit, Michigan, and sat in his assigned seat in first class. Within forty minutes of take-off, a flight attendant observed him masturbating with his penis exposed.

Before the plane landed, the defendant went to the back of the plane to use the bathroom because the first class bathroom was out of order. On his way back from the bathroom, he sat in an empty seat next to an adult woman (the ‘victim’ or ‘AV-1 5’). The victim was seated in the window seat, so the defendant sat in the aisle seat. Shortly after the defendant sat down, he placed his hand on the victim’s upper thigh and began to rub her bare skin. While he was doing this, the defendant told her that he ‘liked white women’ and asked ‘where’s your man?’ The victim told him to ‘please stop’ and stated ‘my kids are behind me.’ The defendant continued to touch the victim’s bare thigh and told her that he was massaging her leg.

Again, the victim asked the defendant to stop. He then put a part of his hand underneath AV-I ‘s shorts and continued to touch her. When the defendant realized the flight was landing sh01tly, he returned to his seat. After his return [to his assigned seat], he resumed rubbing his exposed penis, this time observed by a second flight attendant.

Upon landing, AV-I immediately texted her daughter and told her to stay in her seat because she was scared. The defendant was taken into custody and interviewed by FBI Special Agent Michael Thomas and Detective John Carmona.

During this interview, he admitted that he had two drinks before and during the flight. Initially, he stated that he did not intend to expose himself and that he was not masturbating—that the zipper of his shorts must have come down and he was attempting to zip it back up when the flight attendant walked by. The officers advised defendant of the statements that others made on the scene, and that he could be prosecuted for making false statements under 18 U.S.C. 1001. The defendant then admitted that he likes to sit with his hands in his pants and massage his penis, and called this ‘his happy place.’ He stated that on the flight, he thought he was covered with a blanket while doing this, but he guesses that he was not covered up well enough. He stated that he did not mean for the flight attendants to see his penis but that it is possible that they did. Defendant then admitted to touching AVu l on the outside of her knee and making a ‘caressing motion.’

Immediately after the incident, the victim was too distraught to make a statement. Officers reported that she was visibly upset and crying. The victim later explained that she was especially distraught because her fourteen-year-old daughter was supposed to sit in the seat that she occupied, but she had switched with her prior to the flight taking off. The victim feared that this could have happened to her daughter. She now suffers from anxiety when flying.”

In the Sentencing Memorandum, Acting U.S. Attorney Daniel Lemisch notes that:

This is a serious offense. The defendant touched a woman on her bare thigh, putting parts of his hand underneath her shorts, without that woman’s permission. The defendant continued to do so after the victim told him to stop. The victim feared for her safety and for the safety of her children. That this offense took place on an airplane only escalates its severity. The victim did not have the ability to get up and walk away with the defendant seated in the aisle seat blocking her path. She was effectively trapped.

According to the Sentencing Memorandum, on November 2, 2016, Finkley pled guilty to simple assault in violation of 18 U.S.C, 113(a)(5) without a plea agreement. At the hearing, Finkley denied masturbating on the flight and denied exposing his penis. He only admitted to touching the woman’s leg, that his zipper had broken, that he does not wear underwear, and this is why his penis may have been exposed.

I can’t find a pic of Christopher Finkley in news accounts of this incident — in either WJBK Fox 2 or CBS Detroit or Mugshots.com.

So I did an online search for “Christopher Hinkley” and immediately found him on LinkedIn, where he identifies his occupation as “Auto Truck Transport” in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

That is consistent with his description in the Sentencing Memorandum:

“He completed high school and has held relatively steady employment as a commercial truck driver since 2007. (PSR 25-28). He is married with two children. (PSR 45). He denies any history of mental health or emotional health problems. (Id). However, he did admit to the FBI that his ‘happy place’ is to massage his penis with his hands and has, at least on this occasion, done so in public.”

The Sentencing Memorandum emphasizes:

“The defendant must be deterred. A custodial sentence of thirty days will reflect the seriousness of the defendant’s conduct, promote respect for the law, and provide a just punishment that adequately addresses the lasting effects the defendant’s behavior caused the victim. Members of the public deserve to be free from the fear that they could be assaulted on an airplane.”

On March 28, 2017, the court recommended that Finkley be sentenced to 30 days imprisonment, followed by 6 months of supervised release.

According to a report by WJBK Fox 2, however, Finkley was sentenced for assault and indecent exposure and given only a seven day jail sentence and one year probation.

So much for the court-recommended sentence of 30 days in order to “reflect the seriousness of the defendant’s conduct, promote respect for the law, and provide a just punishment that adequately addresses the lasting effects the defendant’s behavior caused the victim.”

Speaking to FOX 2, the victim’s attorney Jerry Acker said what the Delta flight attendants should have done, after they found out Finkley was masturbating and exposing himself in first class, was to monitor Finkley and not allow “that predator to run through the cabin” to sit next to and assault the victim.

Acker says he is negotiating with Delta to resolve this, and that if he can’t, a lawsuit will be filed.

Delta said the flight mentioned was operated by ExpressJet, a Delta connection partner. Delta and ExpressJet released a statement that they have no comment about the possible lawsuit.

~Eowyn

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16 responses to “Fly the nightmare skies: woman sues Delta for sexual assault by masturbating man

  1. Weirder and weirder isn’t it. Good grief! The decay is unbelievable some days

    Liked by 3 people

  2. It was bad enough the poor woman had to sit through that molestation, but there were witnesses and no one in charge opened their mouth. Sure, a phone call to pick him on landing, but that gives no comfort to the victim.
    They should have spilled some hot coffee on him. I bet her would put it up then.
    His sentence was a slap in the face. Shame on that pathetic judge.
    Thank goodness her daughter wasn’t in that seat.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Woman does not stand up and scream get the f*** off of me. What the heck?

    Liked by 3 people

    • my thoughts too….why didn’t she say or do something? ugh!
      I could not sit there and let a male put his hands on me and remain still or quiet. I pray she learns to speak, if not for her own sake and safety, but for the safety of her children.

      Liked by 3 people

    • I had a similar thing happen to me when I was a freshman (13 yeas old.) I was on a bus, this old guy sat down next to me . . . his elbow and forearm just sorts of wandered over to the area of my crotch. Unfortunately I was far too young to handle this (bear in mind this was 67 years ago.) I could not imagine that this was actually happening, nothing had prepared me to believe that someone would do such a thing, I also was rather shy . . . the situation was so horrible, I got off the bus four miles from where I lived and walked to a school mate’s house. I called my father, and thankfully he came and picked me up. Now Fast Forward to the year I was a senior . . . that same old fart got on a bus I was on, started up doing the same crap, but I had changed . . . I took my elbow and let him have it in the face, in addition to screaming “whatever” (I don’t recall what it was that I screamed, but other passengers turned to look) . . I pushed myself past him our of the window seat and went and sat up in the front of the bus. Everyone on that bus was looking at us. The four years difference in age gave me a whole different look at things. Although, here were times that I would see this old bastard on the bus . . . he never sat down beside me again. In hindsight I should have told the bus driver, but when we are young, we don’t always know what to do. I do think that young people today are better able to deal with problems of this sort. As I look back, I profoundly remember thinking “this can’t be happening . . . I must be imagining it!.” There is perhaps an element of shock that is felt particularly if the female tends to be rather shy.

      In the Delta Airlines case, I don’t know, but since the perpetrator was a black man, she may have been afraid of repercussions from that .. . . possibly being afraid of having people accuse her of being racist. I think it is a shame that he got off with such a lite sentence, it was hardly one which would deter him from doing it again.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I’m sorry to tell you that many women are very frightened of men if they have had an abusive father. I was such when I was younger. I went to a physical therapist who made constant lewd remarks to me about my then lactating breasts after my second child born. I had developed bursitis in my shoulder from Feeding my baby without support under my arms. I was so frozen with fear that I pretended not to hear what I was hearing. And for some strange reason I never thought I had a choice as to which therapist I could go to – but then I was only 23. Thank God I am no longer in that category of helpless women after long hard work on myself. But the point is, do not judge. Most people who have not grown up with this kind of abuse can never imagine the level of paralyzing fear that a woman can feel in a situation like this.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. America the Babylon, the great whore whose sins have been heaped up to heaven, and she has gone stark raving mad! I’m paraphrasing the verses, but they sure do fit what this nation has become.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. When reading the article, & before I got down to the picture of Mr Finkley, I made a wild,,.off the wall,.. guess as to what race Mr Finkley might be,..

    And,..guess what,.. I guessed it , exactly right.

    But, then, that’s no big deal, in that,,this one was just to easy,..

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The woman could have asked the attendant to either remove the perv from that seat or find her and her child another pair of seats-in First Class. Don’t ALL commercial flights have an Air Marshall on board? Should have been easy to detain the perv and confine him to somewhere away from the passengers until they landed. How about that broken lavatory? I can’t believe he was allowed to “minimize” his actions,even with WITNESSES who could dispute it. His behavior ISN’T a “sliding scale” kind of thing;he either crossed the line,making him GUILTY or he didn’t,making him NOT GUILTY. A sexual assault isn’t something he can be just “a little bit” guilty of. Thanks to Liberal minded Judges,we now have varying degrees of guilt even on issues that are of “Day & Night” clarity. Reminds me of how our Constitution has been dragged away from its original INTENT through “re-interpretation” by anti-American politicians. (Primarily Democrats and RINO Republicans.)

    Liked by 2 people

  7. What was the flight attendant suppose to do? Kick his ass? Then she would be in trouble. The real fault here is the liberal judge that let this turd off with what doesn’t amount to a slap on his hand. The should have been charged with sexual assault and given some real time. Then maybe next time he will wait till he gets in HIS car or at home before he goes to his happy place! One sick puppy!

    Like

  8. Explanation but not an excuse for his behavior…

    When Long-Haul Trucking Leads to Mental-Health Problems – The Atlantic

    https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2016/03/long-haul-trucking-and-mental-health/474840/

    The Long White Line: The Mental and Physical Effects of Long-Haul Trucking

    https://psmag.com/the-long-white-line-the-mental-and-physical-effects-of-long-haul-trucking-9b56afd0edbe

    Trucking organization and mental health disorders of truck drivers.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/22757596/

    Like

  9. What kind of woman just sits there and does nothing? Must be the mother of a brood of snowflakes.

    Like

    • MOst women would have been screaming at the top of their lungs. Makes me wonder if this guy even touched her. So many people cry foul when NOTHING has transpired just so they can sue deep pockets( in this case Delta)! If the stewardess did see his penis I wonder why she did not inform the Captain? Did the stewardess ever make a comment to the public as to wither she even saw anything?

      Like

      • “Makes me wonder if this guy even touched her.”

        Did you even read this post? Christopher Finkley pled guilty to assaulting the woman, and was sentenced to 7 days in jail.

        Like

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