Federal prosecutors are discussing a plea deal with the former Cornell visiting scholar accused of groping a woman’s breast on a flight from Tokyo.
Eun Jong Lee, 47, was charged with abusive sexual conduct in August after landing at the Newark Liberty International Airport, the Associated Press reported.
Lee was accused of groping the breast of a woman who fell asleep next to him on the plane.
Last week, Judge Joseph Dickson granted a delay in the case to allow plea negotiations to continue, according to court documents.
“Plea negotiations are currently in progress, and both the United States and the defendant desire additional time to negotiate a plea agreement, which would render any grand jury proceedings and any subsequent trial matter unnecessary,” court documents state.
Lee worked in the Department of Design and Environmental Analysis in the College of Human Ecology from April 2013 to March 2014, according to the Cornell Daily Sun.
A Cornell spokesperson said in a statement when Lee was arrested:
“His privileges at Cornell have been suspended and his future affiliation with the university will be assessed as the facts of this matter are confirmed. The University is cooperating with the authorities.”
The felony charge carries maximum two-year prison term and a $250,000 fine, according to The Smoking Gun.