SALT LAKE CITY >> A man faces federal charges of lewd and obscene behavior on an aircraft after being accused of exposing himself to a woman next to him on a flight to Salt Lake City.
The woman seated beside Stuart Ronald Clarke, of Provo, on a Delta Air Lines flight from Minneapolis in November reported the behavior to flight attendants, according to a search warrant request from the FBI that was made public this week.
Clarke, 49, left the airport upon arriving but told investigators two days later that he accidentally rubbed peppermint oil on his private parts. He said he put the oil on his forehead to get rid of a headache and then went to the bathroom with the oil still on his hands.
He felt burning after that, he told investigators, and put his coat over himself as he began scratching and adjusting his groin area, the documents show. He acknowledged to investigators that he unbuttoned his jeans as he became uncomfortable.
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, said his attorney, Matt Jube. The Provo lawyer said he believes Clarke is a credible person and they plan to take the case to trial.
A trial is set for Sept. 9.