Kevin Matthew has been accused of sexually abusing a 3-year-old boy sitting beside him during a Delta Air Lines flight from Chicago to Salt Lake City.
The 3-year-old was placed beside 48-year-old Matthews while his mother was seated on the same row, but across the center aisle. She was initially concerned, but relaxed a little when she saw that Matthews was being helpful and friendly to her son.
The mother says she was unable to see what may have gone on between Matthews and her son, but two women sitting behind had their hinky meters going off because of some of the things they were seeing.
During the flight, Matthews let the boy play with his iPad and iPhone, according to witnesses. The boy’s mother told Grant she “couldn’t really see what was going on the entire time” because of where she was sitting.
A woman sitting behind Matthews told investigators that Matthews “appeared to be drunk and was extremely friendly and handsy with the boy,” Grant wrote in his report.
Matthews was constantly giving the boy high fives and asked the boy if he could hold his hand. The women felt this behavior was an odd and inappropriate way for an adult male to act with a young boy he didn’t know, so they kept an eye on things.
Near the end of the flight, one of the women became concerned when she noticed that Matthews kept looking over at the boy’s mother. When she stood up to get a better look at what was going on, she told the agent that Matthews had his open hand on the sleeping boy’s groin.
When she confronted Matthews, he denied doing anything wrong and moved his hand to the boy’s leg. The woman called for a flight attendant told the boy’s mother what she witnessed.
When interviewed, he admitted he drank wine during the flight, but that he was not drunk. He admitted that he did ask the boy to hold his hand and said that if he did touch the boy, it was by accident.
Matthews was charged with abusive sexual contact and had his bail set at $10,000. He was ordered to have no contact with minors without permission, is barred from traveling without permission, and must submit to electronic monitoring.