Airplanes / Aviation, Bad Ideas, Crime, Orin Kerr, Patriot Act, Sex, War on Terror

And Don’t Even Think About Joining the “Mile High Club”

airplane cabin flight attendant steward Above the Law.jpgJeez, the terrorists really HAVE won. They’ve sucked all the fun out of flying:

A couple’s ill-concealed sexual play aboard a Southwest Airlines flight from Los Angeles got them charged with violating the Patriot Act, intended for terrorist acts, and could land them in jail for 20 years.

According to their indictment, Carl Persing and Dawn Sewell were allegedly snuggling and kissing inappropriately, “making other passengers uncomfortable,” when a flight attendant asked them to stop.

“Persing was observed nuzzling or kissing Sewell on the neck, and … with his face pressed against Sewell’s vaginal area. During these actions, Sewell was observed smiling,” reads the indictment filed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Help us out here. How does “pressing one’s face” against the “vaginal area” of a fellow passenger violate the Patriot Act? Especially if that passenger is “observed smiling”?

On a second warning from the flight attendant, Persing snapped back threatening the flight attendant with “serious consequences” if he did not leave them alone.

The comment was enough to have the couple, both in their early 40s, arrested when the plane reached its destination in Raleigh, North Carolina, and charged with obstructing a flight attendant and with criminal association.

Okay, that makes more sense. Press all you want into the “vaginal areas” of your fellow passengers (provided, of course, that you know them and they consent). Just don’t threaten the stewardess flight attendant when ordered to stop, and you’ll be fine.
Update: Professor Orin Kerr has some doubts about this case. See here.
Further Update, and Correction: They weren’t charged under the Patriot Act, but under 49 U.S.C.A. § 46504. See Professor Kerr’s update. Serves us right for not looking at the indictment ourselves.
Mid-flight Sexual Play Lands US Couple Afoul of Anti-Terrorism Law [Associated Press]

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