We’ve all had bad flying experiences. It is just part of life in modern America. My colleague Elie has been groped by the TSA, everyone has to deal with humorless flight crews, and even the lead singer from Green Day has been kicked off a plane for not pulling his pants up high enough. The list goes on.

Still, our Lawyer of the Day created quite a stir on a Continental flight from Los Angeles to Houston, even by today’s standards. Let’s meet the Mile-High Flasher, who also happens to be (for now) a lawyer in good standing in California and a graduate of Loyola Law School in New Orleans

The FBI tells the story of 33-year-old Leonard Julius Sawyer on what Bill Singer at Forbes calls “the flight from and to Hell” (NB: the FBI press release appears to incorrectly spell his last name as “Sawyerr”):

At some point during the flight, Sawyerr raised his tray table, and the woman observed his erect genitals protruding out of his pants. As she tried to move, he got up and turned towards her with his genitals exposed, at which time he asked if she wanted to climb over him. At that point, she was able to change seats, and he then put his genitals back in his pants.

Also sometime during the flight, a Continental Airlines flight attendant was in the rear galley with co-workers preparing a serving cart when she observed Sawyerr walking towards the rear of the aircraft and enter the bathroom. Per information offered to the court today, the flight attendant noted he was staring at her strangely which made her feel uncomfortable. Sawyerr exited the bathroom and began to return to his seat but suddenly looked back, turned around, and walked back towards her. He entered the bathroom again and, upon his exit, opened his jacket, revealing his erect genitals sticking out of his pants. When the flight attendant told him he was being inappropriate, Sawyerr stated, “Can’t a guy have his fly undone?” and returned to his seat.

A Continental employee who took a report regarding the incident overheard Sawyerr mentioning the impact the matter could have on his legal career.

No, a man can’t have his fly undone! Although you could argue, I guess, that it was a pretty ballsy line to drop considering the circumstances.

Sawyer pleaded guilty to two counts of lewd, indecent, or obscene acts. And yeah, one could imagine this might affect his legal career.

Especially because it looks like this is not his first time having trouble with inappropriate touching. According to the California Bar Journal, Sawyer recently faced disciplinary action after being convicted of two misdemeanor battery charges. And these were incidents that went down in the courthouse, no less:

Sawyer pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor battery counts in 2010. He placed his hand on the buttocks of a Los Angeles Superior Court clerk in a courtroom where he had just appeared. The same day, he patted the buttocks of a female deputy district attorney, and about a week later, approached a female security officer from behind and touched her buttocks. He had no prior relationship with any of the women.

Sawyer was charged with three counts each of battery and sexual battery and entered pleas to two misdemeanors related to the courtroom clerk and the deputy DA.

Dude, wrap it up. Methinks Sawyer could use some professional psychiatric help, and maybe some quality legal help too — one has to wonder if any semblance of his career in law is not long for this world.

California Lawyer Convicted of Lewd Acts While Onboard Houston Flight [FBI]
California Bar Journal


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