15-year-old Groped by Man on Flight; Sentenced after Brave Girl Reported Incident to Guardian

U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman said Wednesday that a 70-year-old man from Andrews, North Carolina was given a 6-month prison term and 12 months of supervised release after prison for assaulting someone on a plane flying from Atlanta to Seattle. In July 2023, Jack Allen Roberson was caught at Sea-Tac Airport.

Records in the case show that Roberson was sitting next to the 15-year-old girl, who was traveling with her guardian. Roberson put his hand on the victim’s thigh and ran it up under her skirt and towards her private parts while he looked like he was sleeping.

The victim told her guardian about the touching, and the guardian called the flight attendant. Roberson was put in a different spot. The police were called and met the plane when it arrived. After being caught, Roberson was taken to the Federal Detention Center at SeaTac.

He pleaded guilty in March 2024. At the sentencing meeting, U.S. District Judge Lauren King said the crime was very bad because people are trapped when they are sitting next to someone on a plane, and kids are especially at risk as per justice.gov.

Judge King agreed that the behavior was upsetting for the victim and praised the teen for being brave enough to come forward and help with the criminal justice process.

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