Indian held for 'sexually assaulting' woman on United States flight

A 34-year-old man was arrested after a woman passenger alleged that he sexually assaulted her on an overnight flight when she fell asleep next to him.

A USA man has been charged with aggravated sexual abuse after a women reported him attempting to "digitally penetrate" her while she slept on-board a flight. The victim said she woke up to Ramamoorthy penetrating her with his fingers and reported the incident immediately to the flight attendants, the complaint read.

After he was taken into custody, Ramamoorthy admitted to an FBI agent that he "might have" unhooked the woman's bra and "cupped her (clothed) breast", but said he only put a finger in her trousers, the federal complaint stated. The man, Prabhu Ramamoorthy, was seated between the victim and his wife onboard a Spirit flight from Las Vegas that landed in Detroit on January 3.

In a statement, Campos said a man sitting in the middle seat between her and another woman grabbed her upper, inner thigh three times.

The woman reported the incident shortly before the plane landed, according to the police complaint. He later told authorities that he had fallen into a deep sleep and did not assault the woman.

Federal prosecutor Amanda Jawad said that Ramamoorthy sat between his wife and the victim. Ramamoorthy was arrested by the Wayne County Airport Authority. He also indicated that he unzipped her trousers part-way, and did put his finger into her trousers. But the "flight attendants did not report that anyone asked them to change seats other than the victim", Jawad said.

Prabhu also apparently gave conflicting testimonies about what happened with the victim. The magistrate found the case "very unusual" and ordered Ramamoorthy to be held after Jawad argued the assaulter posed a potential danger to people around him. He said Ramamoorthy had worked as a project manager at a technology group for about two and a half years. "There have been no allegations from anywhere that his behaviour has ever been inappropriate prior to this incident", O'Neill said. A spokesman with Spirit Airlines said in an email that it is coordinating with law implementation.

  • Tracy Klein