Brooklyn Man Convicted of Sexually Abusing Female Passenger Aboard International Flight from Abu Dhabi to Kennedy Airport

Passenger plane landing. Stock Photo.
Passenger plane landing. Stock Photo.

A federal jury in Brooklyn today returned a guilty verdict against Daniel Martin Katz on both counts of an indictment charging him with abusive sexual contact and assault in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States.  The verdict followed a three-day trial before United States District Judge Frederic Block.

Jacquelyn M. Kasulis, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), announced the verdict.

“With today’s verdict, the jury has held the defendant accountable for his unwanted, in-flight assault of a young, vulnerable woman who was sleeping in a darkened aircraft cabin during a transatlantic flight,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Kasulis.  “This Office will vigorously prosecute reprehensible acts of sexual abuse that take place onboard aircrafts.”

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“Today, Mr. Katz learned there are consequences for his outrageous assault of a fellow passenger.  To others who need a quick refresher, here it is:  The FBI’s jurisdiction includes any illegal act committed on a plane the moment the doors are closed.  Behave yourselves.  If you break the law while aboard an aircraft, you will be arrested and held accountable,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney.

The government’s evidence at trial established that on February 24, 2018, Katz and the then-25-year-old victim were passengers aboard Etihad Airways Flight 103, an overnight flight traveling from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, to John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, New York.  The victim, assigned to a window seat, fell asleep with Katz assigned to the aisle seat next to her.  While she slept, Katz reached into the victim’s pants with his hand and touched her genitals.  She awoke to the defendant sexually abusing her. 

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The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Kayla C. Bensing and James P. McDonald.

The Defendant:


Age:  36

Brooklyn, New York

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 19-CR-115 (FB)

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