October 23, 2018 / 6:31 PM / 23 days ago

Southwest passenger invokes Trump after groping charge

Oct 23 (Reuters) - A man charged with groping a woman aboard a plane, and after being arrested citing U.S. President Donald Trump's past statements about women, was due to appear in federal court in New Mexico on Tuesday.

Bruce Alexander, 49, was arrested after a woman on Sunday accused him of twice grabbing her breast as they were seated on a Southwest Airlines flight from Houston to Albuquerque, New Mexico, according to the criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque.

Alexander, a heavy equipment operator from Tampa, Florida, later told authorities that "The president of the United States said it's OK to grab women by their private parts," according to the court document.

The White House had no immediate comment on Alexander's statement.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, a videotape surfaced of then-candidate Trump bragging about groping women.

After the it aired, Trump said in a video, “I said it, I was wrong and I apologize.”

Alexander faces up to two years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted of abusive sexual contact, according to the criminal complaint. (Reporting by Barbara Goldberg in New York Editing by Jessica Resnick-Ault)

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