Follow CBSMIAMI.COM: Facebook | Twitter

MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) -— A Tampa man is accused of groping a female passenger while on a flight Sunday from Houston to Albuquerque and later telling authorities that the president of the United States says it’s OK to grab women by their private parts.

READ MORE: Miami Gardens Opens New Walk-Up COVID-19 Vaccination Site

Bruce Michael Alexander, 49, made his initial appearance in federal court Monday in Albuquerque on a charge of abusive sexual contact. It wasn’t immediately clear if he had an attorney.

According to a criminal complaint, a woman told authorities the man behind her touched her twice on the Southwest Airlines flight and that she told him to stop and asked to change seats.

READ MORE: South Florida Bride, Groom Crashers At Own Fort Lauderdale Mansion Wedding

Alexander recalled in a written statement only that the woman in front of him had spoken to him and then changed seats.

Alexander remains in custody pending a preliminary hearing and a detention hearing scheduled for Tuesday.

MORE NEWS: Pivoting In Pandemic: Miami Maintenance Co. Credits FIU's Small Business Development Center For Helping Them Survive

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)