A 34-year-old Indian-origin man was arrested by federal authorities in MI after a woman co-passenger complained of being sexually assaulted by him after falling asleep on the flight.
A 34-year-old Indian national was arrested and charged for sexually abusing a woman onboard a flight in MI on Thursday, reported The Washington Post.
Federal prosecutor Amanda Jawad said Ramamoorthy stopped after the victim opened her eyes and then the shaken woman immediately alerted flight attendants.
Prabhu Ramamoorthy, allegedly groped the 22-year-old seated next to him on a Spirit Airlines flight from Las Vegas which landed in Detroit early on January 3, the Washington Post reported. Some graphic details According to the complaint, 34-year-old Prabhu Ramamoorthy reportedly unbuttoned the 22-year-old victim's shirt and stuck his hand in her trousers while she was asleep against the plane's window. Jill Leslie Price of the Federal Defender Office, who showed up with Ramamoorthy, said he was eager to have his nation of origin told of the charge.
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The suspect initially told authorities that he had been asleep and did not know where his hand had been, but later told another investigator that he "might have" unhooked the woman's bra and put his hands on her breasts over her shirt.
Ramamoorthy told an Federal Bureau of Investigation agent that he "might have" undone the woman's bra and cupped her breast, according to Detroit News. Ramamoorthy's wife had at this point walked up to the back of the plane to inquire into the incident, the attendants added. The attendants kept the woman in the back of the plane and offered her a different seat, and while they were talking to the victim, Ramamoorthy's wife came to the back of the plane to see what was going on, Jawad said.
His wife told officials a similar story, and said that they had called the flight attendants to try to change seats. Magistrate Judge R Steven Whalen ordered Ramamoorthy to be held pending trial. His wife was reportedly sitting beside him at the time of the incident. Prabhu Ramamoorthy, 34, was traveling with his wife when the alleged incident took place. But the "flight attendants did not report that anyone asked them to change seats other than the victim", Jawad said. Ramamoorthy works for a Troy-based information technology company.
Sexual harassment and abuse on airplanes is a largely unreported but prevalent issue for passengers, according to a report by the Seattle Times.