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Air Steward Bars Groping Drunk Woman From Mile High Club

An alcoholic is convicted of sexually assaulting a male flight attendant, but narrowly avoids jail.

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Goldberg admitted she had a problem.

By Luke Walker

11/28/11

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A female London kindergarten teacher avoided jail after sexually assaulting a male airline steward during a flight from Johannesburg to Heathrow. South African national Katherine Goldberg, aged 25, had drunk a whole pint of her own whiskey on board, and claimed her offense was caused by mistaken identity due to "alcohol induced hallucinatory somnambulism." After causing disruption on her Virgin Atlantic flight, Goldberg was removed from her seat to the plane's kitchen, where a flight attendant tried to look after her. But she grabbed his genitalia through his pants and demanded sex. She was overheard saying, “Let me and you go somewhere,” and “You can touch me anywhere you want, I don't mind." Her victim pressed charges instead. In court, her lawyer argued, "In her complete alcoholic funk she was confusing him with her current boyfriend, Clayton, and Owen, a previous boyfriend." Goldberg was fined £1,500 plus an additional £250 in costs and ordered to carry out an 11-month community order and 80 hours of unpaid work. Recently, Israeli Rabbi Gavriel Bidany was jailed in New York for committing a similar, but sober, assault on a woman during a transatlantic flight. But the London judge decided to spare Goldberg, partly because a jail sentence would have ended her teaching career, and partly because she's been sober ever since—she realized she'd hit rock bottom on the plane, went to rehab and now attends five AA meetings a week.

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