Visiting Cornell Professor Arrested For Allegedly Molesting Sleeping Woman On Flight

planecaseEun-jong Lee, 47, a visiting professor of Human Ecology Design at Cornell University has been arrested after he allegedly groped a sleeping woman’s breast on a flight from Tokyo to Newark, New Jersey. He has been charged with abusive sexual contact, a felony carrying a maximum two-year prison term and a $250,000 fine.

The woman was seated next to Lee on Flight 78 and fell asleep during the 13-hour flight. She woke later to find one of Lee’s hands “located on top of her shirt and touching her breast through her clothing.” Lee then allegedly “touched the skin of the Victim’s neck and attempted to place his hand down the front of her shirt.” When she told Lee to stop, she says that he then walked to an airplane bathroom as she reported the matter to the flight crew.

Lee is a professor at Handong Global University in South Korea and is a visiting scholar at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, where he teaches in the College of Human Ecology’s Design & Environmental Analysis program.

Lee’s specialty is in “user experience”, or UX, and smart interface/interaction design projects/

In a statement, Vice President for University Relations Joel Malina said: “Eun Jong Lee is not an employee of Cornell University. He has been a visiting scholar on the campus. His privileges at Cornell have been suspended and his future affiliation with the university will be assessed as the facts of this matter are confirmed. The University is cooperating with the authorities. We have no further comment on this matter.”

Source: Smoking Gun

28 thoughts on “Visiting Cornell Professor Arrested For Allegedly Molesting Sleeping Woman On Flight

  1. The groper from South Korea (with this link “Source: All Africa”) comes to American to teach Groping 101?

    The link at the bottom of the post goes to “Kenya: New Bill Wants Gays Stoned in Public” …

    Perhaps the link will corrected, or perhaps this is a story about a groping gay professor who is self medicating using a “how not to be gay” textbook from Freedom University?

    Meanwhile, is someone visiting from Barbaria University and teaching cops how to be barbarians (Will The Military Become The Police? – 5)?

  2. Another example of the folly of “copping a feel” within the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States.

  3. Questions about jurisdiction in ships and airplanes that are outside the limits of a country. What are the rules? Can his defense be that he was in international air and there are no rules? Does the captain get to judge an mete out punishment? Or does jurisdiction go to the next port?

  4. BettyKath. Here is the statute covering aircraft:

    CHAPTER 465 – SPECIAL AIRCRAFT JURISDICTION OF THE UNITED STATES

    -HEAD-

    Sec. 46501. Definitions

    -STATUTE-

    In this chapter –

    (1) “aircraft in flight” means an aircraft from the moment all

    external doors are closed following boarding –

    (A) through the moment when one external door is opened to

    allow passengers to leave the aircraft; or

    (B) until, if a forced landing, competent authorities take

    over responsibility for the aircraft and individuals and

    property on the aircraft.

    (2) “special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States”

    includes any of the following aircraft in flight:

    (A) a civil aircraft of the United States.

    (B) an aircraft of the armed forces of the United States.

    (C) another aircraft in the United States.

    (D) another aircraft outside the United States –

    (i) that has its next scheduled destination or last place

    of departure in the United States, if the aircraft next lands

    in the United States;

    (ii) on which an individual commits an offense (as defined

    in the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of

    Aircraft) if the aircraft lands in the United States with the

    individual still on the aircraft; or

    (iii) against which an individual commits an offense (as

    defined in subsection (d) or (e) of article I, section I of

    the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against

    the Safety of Civil Aviation) if the aircraft lands in the

    United States with the individual still on the aircraft.

    (E) any other aircraft leased without crew to a lessee whose

    principal place of business is in the United States or, if the

    lessee does not have a principal place of business, whose

    permanent residence is in the United States.

    (3) an individual commits an offense (as defined in the

    Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft)

    when the individual, when on an aircraft in flight –

    (A) by any form of intimidation, unlawfully seizes, exercises

    control of, or attempts to seize or exercise control of, the

    aircraft; or

    (B) is an accomplice of an individual referred to in

    subclause (A) of this clause.

  5. Oh what a creep! He needs an Irish Poem!

    Mountains of Data???
    An Irish Poem by Squeeky Fromm

    There once was a prof from Cornell
    Who’d at Human Ecology excel!
    Sooo, while others might rest
    His hands kept “abreast”
    Of the mountains on mademoiselle.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  6. Another very human story. However, I would like to put an end to such egregious penalties for crimes. Very serious sexual assaults happen all the time, most aren’t reported, those that are are often not prosecuted, and if prosecuted the assailants do not spend much time in jail, much less than should be the case and sometimes much greater when complicated by race and class. It was a creepy and thoroughly wrong thing for him to do, and he should be held accountable in some way (maybe the university could come up with something, even short of ending his position). In other words, there should be a remedy that leads to understanding, apology and even some restitution, and a possibility of forgiveness.

  7. Lee is a metrosexual and Squeeky could kick his ass. My mother used to give my 2 sisters lessons on how to kick and punch groping guys in the balls. So much stuff that ends up w/ police action can be handled even better right on the spot.

  8. We are of course too presuming he did it.
    Could he have been asleep? There is the common trope of people sleeping next to each other on long flights or bus rides, who inadvertently crawl all over each other while asleep.
    I myself while reading on a long bus ride, had a woman who was sleeping next to me drape her arm over my shoulders, until I gently nudged back.
    As Nick said, this is not a police matter even if it turns out it was pervy.

  9. As Nick said, this is not a police matter even if it turns out it was pervy.

    Disagree.

    JT: “She woke later to find one of Lee’s hands “located on top of her shirt and touching her breast through her clothing.” Lee then allegedly “touched the skin of the Victim’s neck and attempted to place his hand down the front of her shirt.””

    If he’s not a serial-perv, next time he may keep his hands where they belong.

    Perfect little poem, Squeeky.

  10. Correction. Forget the attribution…

    Gary T @ 11:25 am: “As Nick said, this is not a police matter even if it turns out it was pervy.”

    Disagree.

    JT: “She woke later to find one of Lee’s hands “located on top of her shirt and touching her breast through her clothing.” Lee then allegedly “touched the skin of the Victim’s neck and attempted to place his hand down the front of her shirt.””

    If he’s not a serial-perv, next time he may keep his hands where they belong.

    Perfect little poem, Squeeky.

  11. Just make it subject to the death penalty …. then we can have more practice with lethal injections and work on ZPG. Why go with half-measures ? Let’s make a clean breast of it.

  12. Punishment is always the most effective when meted out quickly. A couple hard, swift, jabs in his package would get his mind right pronto.

  13. It’s to her credit that she didn’t hit him and, in the end, it will help her that she showed some restraint. It’s all on him now.

  14. He was a visiting scholar — he did not teach at Cornell.

    “http://www.ithacajournal.com/story/news/crime/2014/08/11/ithaca-flight-sex-abuse-charge/13914739/”

    “An after-hours message for Lee’s public defender was not returned.

    “Lee was listed on the Cornell website as a UX design researcher, who has been working closely with Samsung and LG electronics design teams on smart interface/interaction design projects.”

  15. the problem i have is DID ANYONE ELSE WITNESS him molest this lady? or could it be as Gary said that he to fell asleep and was unaware of his actions? im not taking up for him at all as a victim of child molestation and rape i abhor pervs with a special hatred but something isnt fitting with this story. and this man has been vilified without anyone hearing his side of it as i said IM NOT IN ANY SHAPE FORM OR FASHION DEFENDING HIM but i am also well aware of many men who were and are falsely charged by women and their lives destroyed only for it to turn out that said man did no such thing and in many many cases the so called victim turned out to be a liar wanting attention

  16. ShakingMyHead,

    I too had the same skepticism you had about it being just her word, perhaps absent any outside witnesses. I read the probable cause statement provided the court by the FBI Special Agent. It seems that, according to the information provided, that the accused admitted to placing his hands upon the victim so that certainly is a crucial bit of evidence. Probable cause statements don’t necessarily contain all the evidence necessary to help ensure a conviction, they only provide enough information to establish authority, jurisdiction, the suspect’s probable involvement and the statutory elements of the crime charged. I believe putting a witness’ statements are very compelling for a PC statement but it is not necessary but highly recommended.

    In my view a witnesses’ statement alone is not sufficient to establish probable cause for arrest. It must be corroborated by other evidence of guilt of the suspect.

    Situations having the concern you show became more problematic on the local level when the mandatory arrest for domestic violence statutes began in the mid 1980s. To this day there have been in my view much too many arrests made of “suspects” based solely upon the words of a victim and especially in describing only pain and uncorroborated assault by a suspect. In my view this amounts to insufficient probable cause. While pain is an element of assault, in WA pain is an element of domestic violence assault, however unless it is clearly established an act will result in pain, it is difficult to articulate minor pain to an evidentiary standard. Therefore if there is no evidence there is no probable cause to arrest.

    But in many states the mandatory arrest laws contain clauses for immunity from prosecution for officers who make arrests under mandatory domestic violence arrests so there is not sufficient deterrence to make certain there is sufficient evidence to make arrests as it is with regard to other cases that false arrest torts can be applied.

    There was no domestic violence in this incident on the aircraft, but what really sank the suspect in this case was to admit he had touched the victim in the manner he stated. Otherwise it could have been a “he said, she said” affair.

  17. There’s a common occurrence of similar actions in NYC subways. Google ‘subway grinding’ and ‘subway groping’.

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