A woman who took a sedative during a flight to Hawaii woke to find she was being sexually assaulted, a court heard.
Luavalu Seuva'ai, 22, faced a federal judge on Monday, charged with the assault, Khon2 reported.
Court documents allege he fondled the woman while she slept in the seat next to him on an August 16 flight from the Phillipines to Honolulu.
"In this case the defendant is accused of actually groping, sexually his seat mate on a flight," said Tom Simon, FBI Special Agent.
Court documents say that the victim and Seuva'ai had a friendly conversation earlier in the flight, but that she took a spoon of Liquid Nyquil in an effort to fall asleep.
She told authorities she woke up several times to find him touching her sexually, fondling her underneath her clothing without her permission.
Court documents say "...he leaned his head toward her shoulder and rubbed (victim's) arm and side with his hand. Seuva'ai advised he did not sexually touch (victim), he was merely flirting with her."
Simon told the court a woman should be able to fall asleep on a plane without the threat of being assaulted.
The accused pleaded not guilty to the offence, Investment Watch reported.
Seuva'ai was released on a $25,000 bond and will reappear in court in September.
Hawaiian Airlines said it took immediate action when the incident was reported onboard. Seuva'ai was moved to a different seat and authorities were notified.