Passenger blames peppermint oil for alleged lewd actions on flight out of MSP


A man accused of exposing himself to a woman sitting next to him on a Delta Air Lines flight from Minneapolis to Salt Lake City says he couldn't help but scratch and adjust his groin area because he had accidentally rubbed peppermint oil on his private parts, reports the Associated Press.

Stuart Ronald Clarke, of Provo, faces federal charges of lewd and obscene behavior on an aircraft. The incident occurred back in November of 2012.

According to a search warrant request from the FBI made public this week, this is what Clark, 49, said happened:

He said he put peppermint oil on his forehead to get rid of a headache and then went to the bathroom with the oil still on his hands.

When he returned to his seat, he tells investigators he felt a burning and put his coat over himself. He then began scratching and adjusting his groin area, the documents show. He acknowledged to investigators that he unbuttoned his jeans as he became more uncomfortable.

The woman seated beside Clarke reported the behavior to flight attendants.

When investigators asked Clarke why he didn't go back to the bathroom to fix the problem, Clarke said water would have only made it worse.

Clarke has pleaded not guilty.

A trial is set for Sept. 9.

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