Flier Accused of Sexual Assault While Wife Seated Next to Him

22-year-old woman says she woke to find man's hand down her pants
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2018 7:18 PM CST
Flier Accused of Sexual Assault While Wife Seated Next to Him
Prabhu Ramamoorthy   (Wayne County Sheriff's Office)

A 34-year-old man was arrested Wednesday for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman sitting next to him on a flight while his wife sat on the other side of him, the Washington Post reports. The Detroit Free Press, citing the criminal complaint, reports a 22-year-old woman sleeping next to the window on an early morning Spirit Airlines flight from Las Vegas to Detroit says she woke up "to a hand in her pants and noticed that her pants and shirt were unbuttoned." The woman says the man sitting in the seat next to her had his fingers in her vagina but removed them when he saw she was awake. She went to flight attendants, who say she "appeared visibly upset and was crying."

The man, identified as 34-year-old Prabhu Ramamoorthy, was arrested when the flight landed. In an initial written statement, he allegedly said he had taken a pill and fallen into a "deep sleep" during the flight. His wife, who was sitting on the other side of him, corroborated his story, saying the woman fell asleep on her husband's knees. But a federal prosecutor notes Ramamoorthy gave "conflicting reports" regarding the incident. He later allegedly admitted the pill he took was "plain Tylenol" and told an FBI agent he was playing with the woman's bra and "might have" unhooked it. He also allegedly admitted to groping her breast over her clothing and putting his finger in her pants, though not in her vagina. Ramamoorthy, an Indian national living in the US on a temporary visa, was charged with aggravated sexual abuse. The AP reports he's due back in court Jan. 17. (More sexual assault stories.)

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