Indian Man Gets 9 Years in Jail for Sexual Assault on US Flight
DETROIT – December 14, 2018
A 34-year-old Indian man has been sentenced to nine years in prison for sexually assaulting a sleeping woman on a US flight early this year.
Prabhu Ramamoorthy, who worked for an IT company for over two years, was accused of abusing a 22-year-old woman seated by the window next to him while his wife was on his other side on a Spirit Airlines flight from Las Vegas to Detroit on January 3.
He will be deported back to India after he serves his sentence, a federal court in Detroit said on Thursday as it sentenced him to nine years of imprisonment, Detroit Free Press reported. He will never be allowed back into the US.
Prosecutors said Ramamoorthy "committed one of the most brazen airplane sexual assaults ever prosecuted in this district" when he knowingly took advantage of a sleeping, intoxicated woman who could not fight back.
The prosecution had originally sought a 11-year jail term, but US District Judge Terrence Berg concluded that nine years was sufficient for what he described as "an extremely serious offence.”
Ramamoorthy was held without bail after appearing in the federal court after prosecutors argued there was a risk he could abscond.
According to court records, the 22-year-old woman had told investigators that she was sitting in a window seat next to Prabhu Ramamoorthy, whose wife was in the aisle seat. The woman said that she fell asleep and woke up to discover the fellow passenger shoving his fingers inside her pants and "vigorously moving them" and noticed that her pants were unbuttoned and her shirt untied. When she woke up, the man stopped, and the woman alerted a flight attendant. She was then given a different seat and the man was arrested after the plane landed.
Prabhu Ramamoorthy initially told investigators that he was in a deep sleep and did not do anything.
His wife had claimed that the woman had been sleeping on her husband's knees.
Later, he told an FBI agent he "might have" undone the woman's bra and cupped her breast, according to court records, the report added.
The court filing stated that Ramamoorthy also admitted that he "unzipped the woman's pants part-way and put his finger inside.” He was convicted by a jury in August following a five-day trial.