Indian arrested for sexually assaulting passenger on US flight

Washington (PTI): A 34-year-old Indian national has been arrested in the US for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman sitting next to him while on a flight from Las Vegas to Detroit, according to a media report.

Prabhu Ramamoorthy was charged with aggravated sexual abuse and held without bail after an appearance in federal court in Michigan, Washington Post reported.

Ramamoorthy is accused of abusing a 22-year-old sitting in a window seat next to him, while his wife was on his other side, on a flight from Las Vegas to Detroit on Wednesday.

The victim told investigators that she woke up to find her pants and shirt unbuttoned and the man’s hand inside her pants.

The victim went to the back of the plane to report the incident to a flight attendant, the criminal complaint was quoted as saying by the report.

Ramamoorthy was arrested after the plane landed, according to court documents.

He said in a written statement that he had taken a pill and fallen into a deep sleep, and that he hadn’t done anything.

Magistrate Judge R Steven Whalen, who said it was a “very unusual case”, ordered Ramamoorthy to be held pending trial after the Federal prosecutor successfully argued that he was a flight risk and a potential danger to others around him.

The prosecutor said that Ramamoorthy’s wife, who was also living in the United States on a temporary visa, would not make a suitable custodian for him.

“It seems that she’s either colluding with the defendant to cover up his actions or she’s completely oblivious to what he did,” the prosecutor argued.

Ramamoorthy’s lawyer, Richard O Neill, had offered to turn over his client’s passport. He said Ramamoorthy had worked as a project manager at a technology group for about two and a half years.

Stephen Schuler, a spokesman for Spirit Airlines, said that it was cooperating with law enforcement on the incident.