Wednesday, November 15, 2006
The Draconian and Absolutist USA Patriot Act Strikes Again
Mid-flight sexual play lands US couple afoul of anti-terrorism law
Nov 14 6:53 PM US/Eastern
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.
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.
They have been placed under legal surveillance until their trial on February 5. If found guilty, they both could be sent to jail for up to 20 years.
Persing's lawyer William Peregoy said his client was not feeling well when he placed his head on his companion's lap, and that he only threatened the flight attendant with reporting him to his superiors on landing.