This Woman Live-Tweeted Being Groped on a Plane to Show How Difficult It Is to Report in-Flight Sexual Assault

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A Los Angeles–based writer live-tweeted her experience of allegedly getting groped by a man on a plane on a flight out of Austin. She later posted a picture of the man, who allegedly tried to kiss another woman on the flight, after authorities told her they wouldn’t press charges.

In a series of Saturday tweets, Ariana Lenarsky wrote that a guy grabbed and stroked her calf on the airplane as she walked by, so she took his picture, which she initially didn’t plan to share.

She then told the flight attendants, who told her that other women had already complained about him. They told the captain and filed a report with the airline, and authorities met the plane upon arrival.

The man was escorted off the plane, but because the incident occurred “in the sky,” the FBI got involved.

Ariana Lenarsky reported the incident to local authorities and was referred to the FBI, who told her that if she wanted to press charges, she’d need to fund her own flight back to Austin to file a report. She was told by the police that they would give the man “a talking to” but that “it’s not the crime of the century.”

Lenarsky wrote that after sharing her story, the Austin Police Department reached out to take a report. However, she also wrote that it’s apparent that “no one – from Twitter all the way up to the FBI – has a clear, just, and efficient protocol for how to handle sexual assault and battery.”