HOUSTON (CN) – An attorney who exposed himself to a passenger and flight attendant pleaded guilty to two counts of indecent exposure, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Leonard J. Sawyerr, 33, of Houston, occupied the middle seat on a Valentine’s Day 2011 Continental Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Houston, prosecutors said.
Sawyerr, who holds a California law license, insisted that the armrest between him and the woman in the window seat remain up, and bombarded her with personal questions, prosecutors said in a statement.
“When efforts to terminate the conversations failed, the woman put on her earphones and began watching a movie on her iPhone,” according to the statement.
“At some point during the flight, Sawyerr raised his tray table and the woman observed his erect genitals protruding out of his pants.
“As she tried to move, he got up and turned towards her with his genitals exposed, at which time he asked if she wanted to climb over him. At that point, she was able to change seats and he then put his genitals back in his pants.”
During the same flight, Sawyerr made a flight attendant feel uncomfortable by staring at her as he went to the bathroom, prosecutors said.
“Sawyerr exited the bathroom and began to return to his seat, but suddenly looked back, turned around and walked back toward her,” prosecutors said in the statement. “He entered the bathroom again and, upon his exit, opened his jacket revealing his erect genitals sticking out of his pants.
“When the flight attendant told him he was being inappropriate, Sawyerr stated, ‘Can’t a guy have his fly undone?’ and returned to his seat.
“A Continental employee who took a report regarding the incident overheard Sawyerr mentioning the impact the matter could have on his legal career.”
Sawyerr pleaded guilty to two counts of indecent exposure. He faces up 90 days in prison and a $5,000 fine on each count at his Aug. 30 sentencing.
He is free on bond.
The San Francisco Chronicle posted on its website today that at the time of the Continental flight, Sawyerr was facing three counts each of battery and sexual battery in three California cases.
“According to the State Bar Court of California, Sawyerr in 2010 placed his hand on the buttocks of a Los Angeles Superior Court clerk in a courtroom where he had just appeared. That same day, he patted the buttocks of a female deputy district attorney. About a week later, he touched the buttocks of a female security officer,” according to the Chronicle.
The Chronicle reported that Sawyerr pleaded no-contest in November 2011 to two misdemeanor battery charges, and that he was placed on probation for a year.