United Airlines passenger accused of raping woman in first class during London-bound flight

Local authorities boarded the United flight when it landed in London

A United Airlines passenger was arrested for allegedly raping another passenger on a flight to London last week. 

The overnight flight departed from New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport on Jan. 30 and arrived at London's Heathrow Airport the following day.  

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According to The Sun, the 40-year-old British passenger, who has yet to be identified, allegedly forced the victim to have sex with him while other passengers were sleeping.  

The victim, a 40-year-old British woman, reportedly told the cabin crew about the incident, prompting them to immediately call authorities. 

United Airlines has said it will cooperate with law enforcement's investigation.  ( )

United Airlines told FOX Business that crew members "called ahead and notified the local authorities as soon as they became aware of these allegations." 

Both passengers were strangers and sitting in separate rows in first class, the outlet reported. However, an unidentified source told The Sun that the two passengers were drinking together earlier at a lounge.

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Metropolitan Police officers reportedly boarded the plane when it landed in London on Jan. 31 and arrested the passenger on suspicion of rape, according to the outlet. 

Officers conducted an investigation within the cabin of the plane while the man was taken to the Heathrow police station for a mug shot and DNA collection. 

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The man was later released, although the investigation is ongoing, the outlet reported. 

Metropolitan Police confirmed the arrest and investigation to The Sun.

Meanwhile, United said it "will cooperate with law enforcement on any investigation."