I-Team: Plea deal after man accused of groping women on flight to Cleveland

CLEVELAND- The FOX 8 I-Team has found a man accused of groping two passengers on a commercial flight into Cleveland will not go to prison.

Gregory Carroll worked out a plea deal. He had been facing felony sex charges. He ended up pleading guilty to a minor charge of simple assault, and Wednesday he received a sentence of probation and orders to complete an alcohol abuse rehab program.

In February, Cleveland police arrested Carroll at Hopkins Airport after a flight from Charlotte to Cleveland. Two female passengers said he had grabbed and rubbed their thighs. They said Carroll had been sitting between them.

Since then, Cuyahoga County prosecutors worked out a plea agreement. We’ve learned one accuser didn’t want to push the case, and the other accuser just wanted Carroll to pay some kind of price.

He had told police he had fallen asleep and leaned over to the women.

On Wednesday, Carroll stood before Cuyahoga County Judge Nancy McDonnell. He admitted he has a drinking problem, and he said he’s getting help for it. Carroll told the judge, "If I hadn't been drinking, I wouldn't be here before you today. And for that I'm disappointed in myself.” He added, "Keeping sober is the most important thing in my life. I finally have surrendered to that."

Part of the plea agreement included some time in jail or a treatment program. Since Carroll is already in a program, the judge ordered him to finish that, pay a fine, and spend time on probation.

In the end, records will not show a sex assault in the air, but Carroll will have a conviction.

Read more, here.