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Press Release

Baltimore Man Facing Federal Indictment for Sexual Abuse on an Airplane

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maryland

Baltimore, Maryland – A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging Deo Mugabe, age 26, of Baltimore, Maryland, with fourth-degree sexual abuse on an aircraft, abusive sexual contact, and simple assault.  The indictment was returned on July 3, 2018, and unsealed on July 25, 2018, upon the arrest of the defendant.

The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur and Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office.

According to the three-count indictment, on May 29, 2018, Mugabe was seated next to the victim on a flight from Houston, Texas, to Baltimore.  Mugabe and the victim were strangers.  The indictment alleges that Mugabe engaged in sexual contact with the victim during the flight, knowing that the victim was incapable of declining participation or communicating unwillingness to engage in that sexual contact.

If convicted, Mugabe faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison for fourth-degree sexual abuse on an aircraft, a maximum of three years in prison for abusive sexual contact, and a maximum of one year in prison for simple assault.  An initial appearance was held in U.S. District Court in Baltimore on July 25, 2018.  Mugabe was released under the supervision of U.S. Pretrial Services.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt.  An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings. 

United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the FBI for its work in the investigation.  Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Ayn B. Ducao, who is prosecuting the case.



Marcia Murphy
(410) 209-4854

Updated July 27, 2018