New York Man Charged For JetBlue Groping

Suspect gave beneath-skirt "massage" to passenger

Sleep On Plane

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JetBlue Flight Assault

MARCH 22--A New York City man flying cross country with his 12-year-old son allegedly put his hand underneath the skirt of a sleeping female passenger and massaged her thigh, an act he later defended by telling the victim, “It’s not like I molested you. It’s not like I stuck my finger in your pussy or grabbed your tits.”

According to an affidavit docketed Wednesday in U.S District Court in Brooklyn, Brett Zorse assaulted a 32-year-old woman on a JetBlue flight last year from San Francisco to New York. The 50-year-old Zorse, who lives on Manhattan’s East Side, was seated in the sixth row between his son and the victim, who was on the aisle.

The woman told investigators that Zorse engaged her in conversation prior to takeoff, and introduced himself as “Brett.” She added that Zorse’s “conversations throughout the flight all turned to a sexual nature” and that he was very “touchy feely.” Zorse is seen at right in a Facebook photo.

At one point, the woman recalled, she offered to retrieve something Zorse wanted from the overhead compartment, remarking that she would save him from having to climb over her to get his belongings. “I’d really like to climb all over you,” Zorse replied, according to the woman.

As detailed in a probable cause statement, a few hours into the flight the woman took medication to help her fall asleep. About 40 minutes before arrival at John F. Kennedy International Airport, the woman “woke up… to Zorse massaging her thigh underneath her skirt.”

When the woman demanded to know what he was doing, Zorse reportedly said, “It’s not like I molested you. It’s not like I stuck my finger in your pussy or grabbed your tits.” Zorse followed up that statement by noting, “I wouldn’t mind a massage right now.”

After being groped, the woman told investigators she left her seat in tears and returned just before landing at JFK. Though she did not initially tell authorities or airline workers about the April incident, the woman later e-mailed JetBlue and contacted New York police.

When questioned by investigators, Zorse claimed that he believed the female passenger was “flirting with him, telling him he was attractive and he was a good father,” adding that he felt he had “bonded” with her. While copping to placing his hand on the woman’s leg for “approximately 30 seconds,” Zorse denied placing his hand up her skirt. He did acknowledge, however, that he “could have said something like ‘It’s not like I stuck my finger up your pussy or grabbed your tits,’” according to the probable cause statement.

Zorse has been charged with simple assault and faces up to six months in jail if convicted of the misdemeanor. It is unclear why court papers in Zorse’s case were only docketed this week. Zorse, whose LinkedIn page describes him as an “independent financial services professional,” is next due in court on April 2.

Zorse did not respond to a TSG message left on his phone. (3 pages)