A 30-year old man has been arrested by the FBI for allegedly fondling a female passenger during a Delta Airlines flight to Honolulu from Los Angeles.

Benjamin David Beyer, of Winnebago Ill., was charged with “unwanted sexual contact” in a criminal complaint filed in federal court.

The alleged offense occurred Jan. 11.

A woman seated next to Beyer complained to flight attendants that Beyer touched her thigh twice and told her he wanted to “cuddle.”

Beyer also allegedly offered her a pill to help her sleep and said he had smuggled beer aboard the plane inside a water bottle.

Beyer was initially questioned by authorities when the flight landed but was allowed to continue travelling to Hilo.

He was detained in Pahoa on the Big Island yesterday and returned to Honolulu to answer the criminal charge.

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Jim Dooley joined the Hawaii Reporter staff as an investigative reporter in October 2010. Before that, he has worked as a print and television reporter in Hawaii since 1973, beginning as a wire service reporter with United Press International. He joined Honolulu Advertiser in 1974, working as general assignment and City Hall reporter until 1978. In 1978, he moved to full-time investigative reporting in for The Advertiser; he joined KITV news in 1996 as investigative reporter. Jim returned to Advertiser 2001, working as investigative reporter and court reporter until 2010. Reach him at Jim@hawaiireporter.com