Some people really have no shame.
Federal authorities arrested a 34-year-old Indian national for allegedly assaulting a 22-year-old woman while on a flight from Las Vegas to Detroit.
The suspect, Prabhu Ramamoorthy is staying in the US with a temporary visa, the Washington Post reports. On Thursday, he appeared in federal court in Michigan, where he was charged with aggravated sexual abuse and held without bail.
The alleged victim claimed she woke up from a nap to find her shirt and pants unbuttoned and Ramamoorthy’s hand inside her pants.
The woman occupied the window seat while Ramamoorthy sat in the middle seat while his wife was next to the aisle.
Federal prosecutor Amanda Jawad said the woman immediately got up and spoke to flight attendants upon discovering the man’s hand underneath her clothing.
Two flight attendants told investigators the woman reported the incident at 5:30 am, and that she was crying. The attendants kept the woman in the back of the plane and offered her a different seat, and Ramamoorthy was arrested when the plane landed.
In a written statement, the Indian national claimed he had fallen into a deep sleep after taking a pill, and that upon waking he found the 22-year-old woman sleeping on his knees.
Even more troubling, Ramamoorthy had told a FBI agent that he “‘might have’ undone (the woman’s) bra while playing with it, and that he had cupped her (clothed) breast,” according to the Detroit Free Press.
— Maryann Struman (@mastruman) January 4, 2018
The federal complaint stated the suspect “also indicated that he unzipped her pants part-way, and did put his finger into her pants,” the Free Press reported.
Ramamoorthy’s wife backed the claim that the woman had only fallen asleep in her husband’s lap and didn’t seem aware of his statements obtained by the Detroit Free Press. She also claimed she and her husband had asked flight attendants for different seats, but airline staff denied having been asked for a seat change.
Jawad argued Ramamoorthy gave conflicting reports and that he is a flight risk and danger to those around him. The prosecutor also said the man’s wife would not be a suitable custodian.
“It seems that she’s either colluding with the defendant to cover up his actions or she’s completely oblivious to what he did,” Jawad asserted. “What makes this offense 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, Richard O’Neill, stated “There’s been no allegations from anywhere that his behavior has ever been inappropriate prior to this incident. I have a hard time with some of these allegations, but that’s what a trial is for.”
Magistrate Judge R. Steven Whalen called the case “very unusual” and ordered Ramamoorthy to be held pending trial.
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