Philadelphia/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on May 22, 2024
West Chester Man Admits Guilt in Sexual Abuse of Minor on Philadelphia-bound FlightSource: Google Street View

In a revelation that has shaken the airline community, a West Chester man has admitted to the vile act of sexually abusing a minor mid-flight. Edward Decker, a 46-year-old Pennsylvania resident, appeared in court and entered a guilty plea for the charge of abusive sexual contact on an aircraft. This development was first reported by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Decker's depraved behavior was detailed in court documents, revealing that on July 29, 2022, during a flight from San Diego to Philadelphia, he molested a sleeping minor by touching her thigh and breast. The victim, whose peace was shattered by a predator lurking in the adjacent seat, awoke to find Decker's hands and face beneath her clothing. U.S. Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero described the incident as "incredibly disturbing — a parent’s nightmare, really," according to a statement.

Romero emphasized the necessity of safety and security for individuals, particularly minors, traveling on aircraft. The U.S. Attorney's assurance was clear - the skies should be a haven for passengers, not hunting grounds for the likes of Decker. The commitment to pursue justice for these unsettling cases remains unwavering in partnership with the FBI to ensure such crimes are not taken lightly.

With the guilty plea on record, Decker now faces a maximum possible sentence of three years in prison. Speculations about the sentencing, slated for September 23, are rife, and the community awaits the final decision with bated breath. Special Agent in Charge of FBI Philadelphia, Wayne A. Jacobs, was quoted stating via the U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, "This guilty plea demonstrates that those who commit sexual assault aboard aircrafts will be held responsible." Jacobs further stressed the importance of vigilance during flights and urged passengers to report such misconduct to authorities.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, responsible for uncovering the unsettling series of events on that fateful flight, conducted the investigation that led to Decker's guilty plea. The case is now in the hands of Assistant United States Attorney Josh A. Davison.