- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 27, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - An appeals court has upheld the conviction of a former Utah airline pilot sentenced prison for groping a 14-year-old girl seated next to him during an off-duty flight.

Michael James Pascal argued that prosecutors improperly brought up a past incident involving a 12-year-old girl that was never reported to police.

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week that the similarity of the allegation made it admissible.

Pascal was found guilty last year, after the teen reported feeling his hand under her when she awoke from a nap on a flight from Detroit to Salt Lake City. He told investigators he fell asleep with his hands in his lap and didn’t know how it happened.

Defense attorney Rhome Zabriskie didn’t have immediate comment on the appeals court ruling Tuesday.

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