Groping accusation leads to federal felony charges, FBI investigation

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An alleged groping aboard a Spirit Airlines flight has prompted a full federal investigation.

An alleged groping aboard a Spirit Airlines flight has prompted a full federal investigation.

DENVER — An incident in which a Thornton man allegedly touched a flight attendant’s buttocks has prompted an investigation by the FBI and a federal felony prosecution involving a U.S. Attorney and federal special agents.

Evan Castle, 24, was a passenger on a Spirit Airlines flight from Las Vegas to Denver, the Department of Justice said in a media release. He allegedly consumed “several” alcoholic drinks and began speaking loudly. A flight attendant told Castle to stop using vulgar language and to quiet down, but he refused, reportedly commenting that the woman should date him.

As another flight attendant was walking down the aisle of the aircraft, Castle reportedly told her she was beautiful. He then asked her to “blow off work and come with me.”  As she passed his row, Castle allegedly groped the right cheek of her buttocks and said, “Oh sexy.”

Due to the fact that the incident occurred on an airplane and other factors, the FBI and the DOJ became involved. The suspect was arrested on Friday. Castle appeared in U.S. District Court in Denver Monday afternoon, where he was advised that he faced a charge of abusive sexual contact. If convicted, Castle faces up to two years in federal prison, and up to a $250,000 fine.