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Press Release

Pittsburgh Man Sentenced for Assaulting a Sleeping Woman on a Las Vegas to Pittsburgh Flight in August 2016

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

PITTSBURGH, PA - A resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has been sentenced in federal court to three months in a halfway house, one year of supervised release, and a $5,000 fine, on his conviction of simple assault on an aircraft, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

United States District Judge Reggie B. Walton imposed the sentence on Wei-Ming Shi, 59, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

According to information presented to the court, on August 18, 2016, Shi was a passenger on Southwest flight number 2888 from Las Vegas to Pittsburgh. An adult female (hereinafter referred to as the victim) was seated next to Shi during the flight. The victim fell asleep. While the victim was asleep, Shi placed his hands underneath the dress of the victim. Shi placed his hand on the inner thigh of the victim, her upper buttocks, and her lower back.

The victim awoke in response to this conduct of Shi. She notified a flight attendant as to what had occurred and had her seat changed. At no time did the victim consent to Shi’s conduct or give him permission to touch her in the manner described.

Prior to imposing sentence, Judge Walton stated that Shi’s behavior was "repulsive and cannot be tolerated."

Assistant United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

United States Attorney Brady commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Allegheny County Police Department for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Shi.

Updated May 25, 2018