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Man Allegedly Gropes Woman on Airliner, Says Trump Has Made It Okay

by Kilian Melloy
Tuesday Oct 23, 2018

Words matter and, to some, words from the top matter most. Others would say — or used to say, at least — that character counts in an elected official. After the explosive revelations in October of 2016 of then-candidate Trump's recorded comments in which he bragged in 2005 about sexually assaulting women — saying that celebrities can do what they want to women, including "grab them by the pussy" — all but the most ardent Trump supporters grimaced, but many still supported the candidate. Now, with Trump in the Oval Office, his words still resonate. Will women pay the price?

To judge from the case in which a 49-year-old man Florida named Bruce Alexander was accused of sexual assault on a woman aboard a commercial flight from Texas to New Mexico and then arrested, it seems that might be the case. USA Today reports that Alexander suggested Trump's words make such assault acceptable, if not necessarily legal.

The USA Today report said that when the flight landed, Alexander was placed under arrest — and he told the arresting officers that "the president of the United States says it's OK to grab women by their private parts."

Political newspaper The Hill reports that the woman making the accusation thought at first that Alexander, who was seated behind her, was touching her accident. But when, half an our later, she felt him touching her again, "she rose from her seat, turned around and told the passenger behind her that she didn't know why he thought it was OK and he needed to stop," according to court documents.

Media reports said that Alexander touched the woman's breast. Despite his use of the "Trump defense," Alexander denied groping the woman and said he had slept through most of the flight.

UK newspaper the Independent said that a fellow passenger confirmed what the woman reported about the abusive touch she claims to have endured.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.


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