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Ex-Southwest Airlines pilot sentenced for exposing himself, viewing porn on journey

Ex-Southwest Airlines pilot sentenced for exposing himself, viewing porn on journey

Michael Haak, 60, indicated remorse for their actions ahead of the judge sentenced him to 1 12 months of unsupervised probation and a $5,000 fine. Wochit

UNIVERSITY PARK, Md. – A retired Southwest Airlines pilot ended up being sentenced to probation Friday after pleading responsible to exposing himself to a lady first officer and viewing pornography on a laptop computer within a trip from Philadelphia to Florida year that is last.

Michael Haak, 60, apologized and indicated remorse for their actions before U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Mark Coulson sentenced him to at least one 12 months of unsupervised probation and a $5,000 fine.

“It began as a prank that is consensual me personally and also the other pilot. We never imagined it might develop into this in one thousand years,” Haak stated during a hearing that is remote.

Federal prosecutors stated in a news launch that Haak had never met the very first officer before that journey bound for Orlando on Aug. 10, 2020. Following the air air plane reached its cruising altitude, Haak got from the seat that is pilot’s “disrobed” and started watching pornographic product for a mobile computer into the cockpit, prosecutors stated.

“As the air air plane proceeded its trip, Haak further engaged in improper conduct within the cockpit, because the very first officer proceeded to do her duties as an assigned aircrew member,” the declaration states.

The Federal Aviation management gets aggressive with regards to disruptive people. United States Of America TODAY

The very first officer presented a declaration towards the court but didn’t talk in Friday’s hearing. The judge told Haak their actions had an effect that is traumatic the co-pilot and might have impacted the security of people along with other co-workers.

Haak “had a responsibility to comport himself in an infinitely more manner that is responsible” Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Cunningham stated. “This just isn’t the types of aberrant behavior that anybody should accept.”

Cunningham stated the very first officer “unfortunately suffered some consequences” as a consequence of the event that Haak “didn’t have such a thing to accomplish with,” but he didn’t elaborate.

“She had the right to not ever be subjected to this sort of behavior, it doesn’t matter what might have inspired it or prompted it,” the prosecutor stated.

Haak had been charged in April with deliberately committing a lewd, indecent or obscene work in a general public destination, a misdemeanor punishable by no more than ninety days in prison. He had been charged in Maryland as it had been among the states the aircraft crossed that time.

Federal prosecutors consented to suggest a phrase of probation without needing Haak to join up being a sex offender. The judge was not limited by that suggestion.

Haak, a resident of Longwood, Florida, had been a Southwest Airlines pilot for 27 years until their your your retirement. Their final journey for the Dallas-based flight ended up being on Aug. 31, 2020, three days following the event that resulted in the unlawful fee.

Southwest spokesperson Chris Mainz stated in a declaration that the flight “does maybe maybe perhaps not tolerate behavior for this nature and certainly will simply just simply take prompt action if such conduct is substantiated.” Southwest discovered of Haak’s behavior just after he voluntarily left the flight, based on Mainz.

“Nonetheless, Southwest did investigate the situation and for that reason, ceased spending Mr. Haak any advantages he had been eligible to get because of their separation from (the flight),” Mainz stated.

Defense lawyer Michael Salnick stated Haak possessed a sterling job as a commercial pilot and received many accolades and supportive letters from people and peers, including one from Southwest president and CEO Gary Kelly in the time of Haak’s your your retirement.

“We are endowed that Southwest is your house for therefore a long time,” Kelly had written.

Haak takes obligation for their conduct and “offers no excuses,” their lawyer said in a court filing.

Salnick argued that Haak deserves a lenient phrase offered their “lifetime of work and kindness.”

“The embarrassment and ensuing promotion with this topless white girl event has in as well as itself been humbling to Michael Haak and has now offered as punishment in several ways,” he wrote.

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