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Press Release

Federal Way, Washington man pleads guilty to assault with sexual motivation on flight to Seattle

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington
Touched victim’s leg and thigh and twice touched her buttocks as she allowed another traveler to pass to their seat

Seattle – A 25-year-old Federal Way, Washington man pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to Assault with Intent to Commit a Felony, announced U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman. Desmond D. Bostick faces up to ten years in prison when sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jamal N. Whitehead on July 18, 2024.

According to records filed in the case, on June 20, 2023, Bostick was seated in the last row of the plane on an Alaska Airlines flight from San Diego to Seattle. Bostick was in the aisle seat and the victim, who was a stranger to Bostick, was seated in the middle seat. Bostick allegedly repeatedly touched the victim on the thigh and grabbed her buttocks when she stood to allow the passenger in the window seat to exit the row. Bostick touched her buttocks a second time when the victim stood for the window seat passenger to return to his seat. In the plea agreement Bostick admits he touched the victim to arouse his sexual desire.

After the plane landed, the victim reported the conduct to the flight crew and law enforcement began its investigation. Bostick had left the airport and his location was unknown. The federal grand jury returned an indictment in the case on September 27,2023. Bostick was located and arrested by the FBI on February 9, 2024.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, both prosecution and defense will recommend a nine-month prison term. The recommendation is not binding on the court and Judge Whitehead can impose any sentence allowed by law.

This case was investigated by the FBI with the assistance of the Port of Seattle Police.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Sean H. Waite and Kristine Foerster.


Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Communications Director Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or

Updated April 11, 2024

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