USA authorities have arrested an Indian man after a woman accused him of sexually assaulting her as she slept in the seat next to him on a U.S. flight.
Federal prosecutor Amanda Jawad said Ramamoorthy stopped his act as soon as the victim woke up. He also indicated that he unzipped her trousers part-way, and did put his finger into her trousers.
The man sitting next to her was apprehended and charged with aggravated sexual abuse by federal authorities following the flight Wednesday.
The woman reported she fell asleep and woke up "to a hand in her trousers and noticed that her trousers and shirt were unbuttoned", according to the federal complaint. 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.
Prabhu Ramamoorthy, 34, was sitting between his own wife and the alleged victim, officials say.
But flight attendants told investigators that only the alleged victim had asked for her seat to be changed.
Prabhu Ramamoorthy appeared Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Detroit after the Spirit Airlines flight arrived at Metro Airport.
When asked for a statement, he said that he had taken a pill and fallen into a deep sleep, Jawad said. He also allegedly said that he tried to put his finger in her vagina, according to the federal complaint. In the statement, he also added that he hadn't done anything apart from learning from his wife that the 22-year-old woman was sleeping on his knees.
The woman reported the incident shortly before the plane landed, according to the police complaint.
The woman instantly detailed the claims to flight orderlies, who said she "showed up obviously irritated and was crying", as per the dissension.
However, later while speaking to an Federal Bureau of Investigation agent he changed his version by saying that he might have unhooked the victim's bra "while playing with it" and had cupped her breasts over her blouse.
U.S. Executive Magistrate Judge R. Steven Whalen said the allegations were "odd", and counterintuitive, considering Ramamoorthy's wife was in the next seat during the incident.
Though rare, such incidents involving passengers - and even airline staff - have been reported previously on multiple airlines. He said Ramamoorthy had worked as a project manager at a technology group for about two and a half years.
"I have a hard time with some of these allegations but that's what a trial is for", O'Neill said.
Stephen Schuler, a spokesman for Spirit Airlines, said Thursday the company is fully cooperating with law enforcement and referred all questions to them.
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