MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – An 83-year-old Reno, Nev., man is accused of assaulting a woman on a flight to Rochester via his private plane, according to charges filed in Minneapolis Federal Court on Tuesday.

Robert M. Lee was charged with one count of assault in connection with the incident. The charge came in federal court because the incident occurred on the plane.

According to a criminal complaint, Lee was on a flight from Arizona to Rochester on Sept. 21, 2010, with a paramedic/respiratory specialist that was caring for him at the time. Lee was returning to his seat with the doctor’s help when he reached up with his hand and grabbed her breast, causing significant pain to the doctor.

She pushed his hand away and said, “You do not touch me like that. Do not do that again.” Lee responded by saying, “I can do whatever I want. This is my airplane.”

The complaint states a short time later Lee made a pinching motion with his thumb and forefinger and told the victim, “This is what I’m going to do to you.”

The victim told Lee that he isn’t allowed to touch medical personnel in that manner, he said, “On my airplane, I can do whatever I want.”

He also told the victim that she should be wearing a V-neck shirt so he could slide his hand down her shirt more easily, according to the complaint.

If convicted, Lee faces up to six months in prison.

Comments (27)
  1. TW says:

    OK, so this guy is an old man with poor health and low impulse control for some reason. Maybe he is losing his mental health with some condition related to his age? Does anyone think he will do six months? Come on, all medical staff who care for him just need to know he is a grabber, have male staff do direct care or make him wear mittens all the time.

    1. K. says:

      You are all soooooooo wrong. It doesn’t matter; an assault is an assault. He would have to be found to have dementia before you can claim this as a result of age. This happens a lot with the nursing profession that people think because she is caring for him health-wise that it gives the patient carte blanche to do everything else. I am a nurse and we are losing nurses in the profession because of jerks like you who think its OK to assault a nurse because it’s “part of the job.” No, it’s not. Forget about how you see nurse portrayed in the media…………..it’s all a lie, folks! The doctors in these programs are doing everything that nurses usually do in the hospitals. Nurses need more respect than what they are usually getting. It is hard work and you do need a college degree to do the job………….this work isn’t for dummies nor for sissies. All we ask for is a little respect.

  2. MAJ says:

    I’m sure any one that has worked at a care center does not find this behavior to be anything but the result of an elderly man not in control of his mental functions.
    If anything it is a sad story.

    1. mary says:

      I agree with you i use to work in nursing homes this happens all the time as they are not in the best mental shape and i”ve been hit myself by the elderly and seen many nurses hit as well. We never pressed charges knowing full well the elderly are not in their right mind at times.Obviously this DR. missed some classes on the elderly.

  3. Les Johnson says:

    I find this humorous. She put herself in a plane with an old man with a dirty mind and grabby hands. Don’t tell me she couldn’t have kicked this fogey’s arse in a heartbeat.

    1. markH says:

      Are you suggesting that the female doctor should have been able to read this man’s mind and thus avoided the whole situation? Perhaps it’s more reasonable to conclude that the suspect having a “dirty mind” and “grabby hands” was determined after the fact and thus the doctor had no opportunity to avoid the situation. You really have to work on those reasoning and critical thinking skills. Peace.

      1. Shut it Mark says:

        @Mark. You just twisted his simple, 3 sentence long remark in your own paragraph long diatribe. Shut up already dude.

        His point is valid, she was in no danger of any real assult, and the result is hilarious. He made a pinching motion with his fingers and told her that is what he was going to do to her….so funny, i cant stop thinking about the old man doing that….AWESOME!!! (again, its only funny because she was in absolultey no danger of being harmed)

        1. markH says:

          I always hesitate to engage those who embark on simplistic personal assaults (not to mention those who use the words “dude” and “awesome”), but telling me to “shut up” does not make your point. His point was not valid; it assumed the female doctor knew of this man’s intentions or had reason to believe that she was in danger of sexual assault-the story revealed neither situation. I suggest you take a course in logic and critical thinking before you attempt to rebut a statement. Peace.

          1. Jack Action Hero says:

            “His point was not valid; it assumed the female doctor knew of this man’s intentions or had reason to believe that she was in danger of sexual assault-the story revealed neither situation.”

            That really wasn’t my assumption at all.

  4. keel says:

    Baloney! Sounds to me he knows exactly what he’s doing and feels that he has the right to do it. Lock his wrinkly old body up.

  5. Deanna says:

    LES- again you’re so funny. I’m laughing so hard at this story there’s actually tears coming down my eyes. Touching is the only thing this guy can do. LOL

    1. Les Johnson says:

      Hahahaha! I’m picturing the old codger doing the pinchy fingers at her with a devilish octogenarian smile across his dentures.

      I’m glad somebody finds my comments humorous. 🙂

      1. anon says:

        Les Johnson-
        You’re an idiot.

        1. Jack Action Hero says:

          Brilliant analysis. You should have no trouble finding work in either the food service or house cleaning industries with an intellect like that.



  6. Pepe Le Pew says:

    Seriously? Dont mess with people that can save your life. Gross, old codger.

  7. Victim Du Jour says:

    Sounds like this is leading up too financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult.

    Booby grabbing is wrong, but it doesn’t deserve more attention from our government and the media than the shootings, stabbings and violence in Minneapolis.

    People who think this is a big deal are ditzy.

  8. Jake says:

    It is not lost on me that this is a claim being made against a man who happens to be wealthy enough to own his own airplane. These “assaults” occur every day at nursing homes everywhere when the elderly begin losing faculties related to self control without this kind of nonsense.

    A criminal complaint? Really? Does anyone think this “poor, victimized” nurse would be making the same claims if the elderly man was on medical assistance?

    1. DD says:

      And where exactly does it say this man is being sued by the physician, or that she is attempting in any way to profit from this incident?? Where is there any indication that the man is “loosing facilities”, or is in any way NOT responsible for his actions?? Comments such as “I can do whatever I want. This is my airplane,” Sound like a person who knows exactly what he is doing. If he did have severe enough dementia to NOT know what he was doing was wrong, he likely would have been traveling with a guardian, family member, or other person with decision-making legal authority. He would be considered a vulnerable adult by law, just as the “nursing home” patients eluded to in several posts. There are laws protecting vulnerable adults from unjust criminal complaints and lawsuits. It seems highly unlikely a vulnerable adult would be charged, so it’s a reasonable assumption that he isn’t confused, just an elderly man guilty of sexual misconduct. As one of the many Mayo Clinic healthcare providers who may, unfortunately, be asked to provide care for him and others like him, I applaud a person who stands up for her (or his) rights. Healthcare workers have the same rights as anyone else to protect themselves. In a similar situation in a healthcare facility, we have the right to refuse care to ANYONE who is abusive in any way. Unfortunately, in this case, you can’t just leave the situation when stuck in a plane with a pervert with allusions of being above the law. No pun intended. Being old doesn’t make him immune to the law, either. It just means he is old enough to know better AND to deal with the consequences of his actions.

  9. tuna-free dolphin says:

    This is obviously a direct result of GOP budget cuts. Shame on you GOP!

    1. Obamorality says:

      Get it straight Libby, this kind of stuff never happened when Bush was Prez.

  10. jan says:

    I’m an 80 year old woman and maybe I’m missing out of some fun. By the way, I don’t have dentures. I thought just looking was fun but maybe I should start to grab and pinch too.

  11. trl the alligator says:

    she should have slapped him upside his head along with the scolding……maybe that would have sent the message a little more clearly…..and if that didn’t work maybe a headlock with a couple noogies would get her point across…..just sayin.

  12. Saltpeter says:

    C’mon Doc, just write him a prescription.

  13. Murph says:

    I thought Hecker was in jail!

  14. Deanna says:

    Private plane, rich man. I smell a lawsuit settled out of court

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