A 34-year-old Indian national was arrested and charged for sexually abusing a woman onboard a flight in Michigan on Thursday, reported The Washington Post. Prabhu Ramamoorthy, who is living in the United States on a temporary visa, is accused of abusing a 22-year-old on a Spirit Airlines flight from Las Vegas to Detroit on January 3. His wife was reportedly sitting beside him at the time of the incident.
The victim, in a statement to investigators, said she had fallen asleep on the flight and woke up to find her pants and shirt unbuttoned and the man’s hand inside her pants. The accused was sitting between his wife and the victim.
In statements to the police, Ramamoorthy and his wife gave similar accounts, saying the accused had taken a pill, “plain Tylenol” and fallen asleep. They claimed the victim had fallen asleep on the accused’s knees and that they had requested to change their seats.
Federal prosecutor Amanda Jawad said the victim had reported the incident to a flight attendant, about 40 minutes before the plane had landed. At the time, the accused’s wife had interrupted to enquire about the matter.
“It seems that (the wife) is either colluding with the defendant to cover up his actions or she’s completely oblivious to what he did,” Jawad argued. “What makes this offence particularly egregious and the defendant even more of a danger to the community is the fact that it took place on an airplane. He was brazen enough to do this basically in public, next to his wife where anyone could have seen him.”
Ramamoorthy’s lawyer, meanwhile, said, “I have a hard time with some of these allegations but that’s what a trial is for.”