A Maumelle man has pleaded guilty to assaulting a flight attendant.

Leon Anderson, 40, entered his guilty plea Wednesday afternoon before United States District Judge James M. Moody, Jr.

On Oct. 6, 2020, a federal grand jury indicted Anderson with one count of abusive sexual contact on an aircraft. Yesterday, he pleaded guilty to a Superseding Information charging him with one count of interference with a flight attendant.

Anderson was a passenger on PSA Airlines flight 5686 from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Little Rock on Feb. 11, 2020. Prior to takeoff, a flight attendant was walking through the aisle of the plane when a passenger grabbed his leg. Startled, the flight attendant turned around, and the passenger – Anderson – apologized and said it was a mistake.

Moments later, Anderson put one arm around the flight attendant’s shoulder and attempted to put a hand around his waist while apologizing again. The flight attendant told Anderson he did not need to apologize further.

The flight attendant continued his duties, but Anderson made inappropriate, sexual comments to the flight attendant and ultimately grabbed the flight attendant two more times in a sexual manner. The flight attendant notified the captain, who notified law enforcement.

Judge Moody will sentence Anderson at a later date. Anderson’s crime is punishable by not more than 20 years imprisonment, a fine of not more than $250,000, and not more than three years supervised release.

The case was investigated by the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Kristin Bryant and Benecia Moore.

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