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Press Release

Seattle man who groped teen on flight from Paris to Seattle sentenced to 8 months in prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington
Defendant preyed on student returning from first trip abroad

Seattle – A 36-year 0ld Seattle man was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 8 months in prison for abusive sexual contact on a flight from Paris to Seattle, announced U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman. Milan Edward Jurkovic was convicted following a three-day jury trial in December 2023. At the sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik said, “The flight back should have been nothing less than the end of a joyous trip and instead she is the victim of a crime…. It shouldn’t have happened.”

“Trapped in an aircraft cabin, these assaults are particularly traumatic for vulnerable young people who trust the adults around them to behave appropriately,” said U.S. Attorney Gorman. “In this case the defendant groped a teenager traveling with a school group. She bravely spoke up. As I noted a year ago, we have a zero-tolerance policy for these aircraft sexual assaults. Predators will be prosecuted.”

According to records filed in the case and testimony at trial, on July 3, 2022, Jurkovic was a passenger on an Air France flight from Paris to Seattle. Also on the flight was a school group from Western Washington. The students were returning from a class trip abroad. The 16-year-0ld victim was seated next to Mr. Jurkovic.

About three hours into the flight, Jurkovic reached under the Air France blanket covering the victim and began groping the victim’s thigh. The victim was shocked and frozen with fear. Jurkovic proceeded to rub her thigh for an extended period of time, touching her inner thigh, before the victim was able to pull away and seek assistance from a classmate and then her chaperone. The chaperone traded places with the victim for the duration of the flight.

The incident was reported to the flight crew, and Port of Seattle Police met the flight as it arrived at SEA Airport. The victim was interviewed by law enforcement. Jurkovic provided contradictory statements to different audiences. Initially, he told the chaperone he had been rubbing his leg due to bad circulation, suggesting that he inadvertently touched the victim. Later, after being told by a Port of Seattle officer that he was under investigation for allegedly assaulting the passenger seated next to him, Jurkovic said he did not hurt anyone. He later volunteered that he had an itch on his leg. He was indicted by a grand jury on January 4, 2023, and arrested January 30, 2023.

In asking for a 16-month prison sentence, prosecutors wrote to the court, “reports of airline sexual assaults are on the rise. While they are not likely a new occurrence, the increase in reports likely reflects an increased societal desire to hold perpetrators of sexual offenses accountable. Airline sexual assaults demand a significant punishment….”.

The case was investigated by the FBI and the Port of Seattle Police.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Rachel Yemini and Brian Wynne.


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

Updated June 11, 2024

Violent Crime