FBI Busts Ivy League Scholar In Plane Molest

Professor charged with groping sleeping woman

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United Flight Grope

AUGUST 12---An Ivy League visiting scholar was arrested Sunday by the FBI after he allegedly groped a sleeping woman’s breast and then tried to slide his hand down her shirt while traveling on a flight from Tokyo to Newark, New Jersey.

Eun-jong Lee, 47, was detained by federal agents upon departing the United Airlines flight. He was subsequently charged with abusive sexual contact, a felony carrying a maximum two-year prison term and a $250,000 fine.

According to a criminal complaint sworn by FBI Agent Mary Anne Flippo, Lee and the woman were seated next to each other on Flight 78. The woman, who was traveling alone, told agents she did not know Lee.

During the 13-hour flight, the woman nodded off, Flippo reported. She later awoke to find one of Lee’s hands “located on top of her shirt and touching her breast through her clothing.” Lee then allegedly “touched the skin of the Victim’s neck and attempted to place his hand down the front of her shirt.”

When the woman told Lee to stop touching her, he got up and walked to a restroom at the far end of the aircraft. The victim reported the incident to flight crew members, to whom she also provided a written statement.

During subsequent questioning by FBI agents, Lee reportedly confessed to “among other things, touching the Victim in her breast region with his hand.”

Pictured above, Lee is a professor at Handong Global University in South Korea. He is also a visiting scholar at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, where he was headed prior to his arrest. Lee teaches in the College of Human Ecology’s Design & Environmental Analysis program.

Lee, a design researcher specializing in user experience, or UX, has worked closely with “Samsung and LG electronics design teams on smart interface/interaction design projects,” according to a brief biography on the Ivy League school’s web site. (2 pages)

8/12 UPDATE: After TSG first disclosed Lee’s connection to Cornell, a school spokesperson issued a statement saying that his “privileges at Cornell have been suspended and his future affiliation with the university will be assessed as the facts of this matter are confirmed.”