NEW YORK (Reuters) - An 18-year-old skier has been dismissed from the U.S. Ski Team’s development squad after being charged with urinating on a young girl on a JetBlue flight to New York, officials said on Friday.
Robert Vietze, also known as Sandy, was detained at John F. Kennedy International Airport by Port Authority police and charged with indecent exposure for urinating on a minor, a federal misdemeanor that carries a maximum punishment of a fine and a year in jail, according to the Port Authority and the U.S. Attorney’s office in Brooklyn.
“Based on the information we have, Sandy Vietze is in violation of the USSA code of conduct and team agreement, and has been dismissed from the team,” Luke Bodensteiner, the executive vice president of athletics for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, said in a statement.
Vietze, of Warren, Vermont, had been nominated to the U.S. Development Alpine Ski Team for the 2011-12 season, the USSA said, placing him among the top young skiers in the country.
Media reports that Vietze was drunk at the time of the incident could not be confirmed.
The fellow passenger he is accused of urinating on is a girl about 11 years old, a spokesman for the Port Authority, which operates New York City’s airports, said.
The incident took place on a JetBlue flight from Portland, Oregon, to New York on Wednesday as Vietze was returning to the East Coast from a week-long ski training camp at Oregon’s Mount Hood.
The date of Vietze’s court appearance on federal charges was not immediately known, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.
Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Cynthia Johnston