Skip to main content
Press Release

Florida Man Facing Federal Sexual Assault Charge Arising Out of In-Flight Incident While Traveling from Texas to New Mexico

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico
Defendant Charged with Abusive Sexual Contact for Allegedly Groping Fellow Passenger

ALBUQUERQUE – Bruce Michael Alexander, 49, of Tampa, Fla., made his initial appearance this morning in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., on a criminal complaint charging him with abusive sexual contact.  The charge against Alexander arose out of an in-flight incident while traveling on a Southwest Airlines aircraft from Houston, Tex., to Albuquerque, on Oct. 21, 2018.  Alexander remains in federal custody pending a preliminary hearing and a detention hearing, both of which are scheduled for tomorrow.

The FBI arrested Alexander on an abusive sexual contact charge at the Albuquerque International Sunport on Oct. 21, 2018.  According to the criminal complaint in which Alexander is charged, Alexander allegedly had sexual contact with a female passenger while they were on a flight from Houston to Albuquerque.  The criminal complaint alleges that the sexual contact consisted of groping the victim, who was seated in the row in front of Alexander, leading the victim to request that flight attendants move her to a different seat.

A conviction on the abusive sexual contact charge carries a maximum penalty of two years of imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.  Charges in criminal complaints are merely accusations and defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty in a court of law.

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the FBI and the Albuquerque Police Department and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack Burkhead. 

Updated October 22, 2018