Bonita Springs man arrested for lewd behavior on flight from Newark to Boston

Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:

A Bonita Springs man was arrested Sunday for being accused of performing a lewd act aboard an aircraft in-flight from Newark to Boston on Friday.

Donald Edward Robinson, 76, was charged by criminal complaint with one count of lewd, indecent and obscene acts while in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the U.S. Robinson was arrested Sunday morning at Boston Logan International Airport. He will make an initial appearance in federal court in Boston at a later date.

We spoke with Eileen Wesley, who works for Project Help, a crisis hotline for sexual assault and rape victims. She is angry because of the details in the report from the Department of Justice.

“The anger is seething inside of me for her,” she said. “She was sexually assaulted. In a way, he did not have the contact that the statute states, but he was including her by touching her in what he was doing to himself.”

According to the charging document, on or about April 8, Robinson allegedly engaged in masturbation and exposed his penis to a 21-year-old female passenger seated next to him while onboard a flight from Newark to Boston. Robinson then placed his hand on top of the victim’s thigh without her consent.

Shortly after departure, the victim recorded a 24-second video of Robinson allegedly fondling and manipulating his penis through his pants. A short time later, it is alleged that the victim looked over and saw that Robinson had exposed his penis. Around five minutes before landing, Robinson allegedly placed his hand on the victim’s thigh, prompting the victim to ask why he was touching her, to which Robinson withdrew his hand and looked out the window. It is alleged that the victim then got the attention of another passenger and displayed a message on her phone, “Hi, this man assaulted me and touched my leg and is masturbating.”

During the deplaning process, the victim approached a flight attendant about the incident but was unable to point Robinson out due to the volume of passengers deplaning. It is alleged that security footage captured Robinson, upon exiting the secure area of the terminal, repeatedly looking back in the direction from which he came while proceeding to the baggage carousel level.

The charge of lewd, indecent and obscene acts while in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States provides for a sentence of up to 90 days in prison, up to one year of supervised release and a fine of up to $5,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes that govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

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