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Woman groped on airplane shares her story

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A Goodlettsville woman who said she was groped mid-flight is sharing her story publicly for the first time.

Police say Zachary Johnson, 33, inappropriately touched Angela Meador, 31, on a flight from Orlando to Nashville Wednesday, reported WSMV.

Meador, a law student in Florida, was heading home to Tennessee for some personal time.

She was seated by the window on a Southwest Airlines flight next to two male passengers. Meador said during the flight, the man in the middle ordered two Jack Daniels drinks and started an uncomfortable conversation.

“He asked me at some point if I was a Christian or not,” Meador said. “And then he went into criticism about Christians. He said, ‘Christians don’t understand intimacy very well.’ And then he said it again. And he said, ‘You know, like this.’ Then he reached over and grabbed my breast.”

Meador said she was scared, but sensed things could quickly escalate if she wasn’t careful.

She said the man continued to talk loudly, bringing up the issue of Ebola and other things that happen on planes.

“Then he went back to the intimacy thing and did it a second time,” Meador described. “I was already uncomfortable, but that pushed it over the edge. I didn’t know what to do. At that point we were up in the air on a plane.”

Meador said she told him her leg was hurting and needed to get up and stretch. She immediately told a flight attendant, who found her a seat in the back of the plane.

Several witnesses corroborated Meador’s story, which set airline procedures in motion.

Meador praised the professional and swift actions of airline staff.

“They stayed very calm and handled the situation as best they could, in my opinion,” she said.

When the plane landed in Nashville, Meador was moved to the front and allowed to leave first.

Police then moved in and arrested Johnson.

Angela said the support she felt from passengers, airline staff and police compelled her to head straight to the courthouse and testify.

“I did feel better,” Meador sighed. “I felt better that I was able to stand up and tell the truth.

“It’s hard for any victim of any crime to stand up and say this happened. The right thing to do was to step forward, and be strong, and stand up. So I sort of felt an obligation to do that.”

Johnson allegedly told police he had four drinks before boarding the flight and one drink during, but denied groping Meador.

Johnson is charged with sexual battery. He’s being held on a $10,000 bond.