Indian techie gets 9-year jail term for sexually abusing woman passenger on overnight flight while his wife sat next to him
The Indian national, identified as Prabhu Ramamoorthy residing in the United States on a work visa, sexually abused a young woman on a Spirit Airlines flight on January 3
An Indian tech worker who molested a 22-year-old woman while on an overnight flight from Las Vegas to Detroit has been sentenced to nine years in prison for his heinous and sickening crime, a court ruled on Thursday.
The Indian national, identified as Prabhu Ramamoorthy residing in the United States on a work visa, sexually abused a young woman on a Spirit Airlines flight on January 3.
The victim, who has not been named, woke up to find Prabhu with his hands down her pants and her shirt unbuttoned. She immediately rushed to the back of the aircraft and proceeded to alert flight attendants of the incident.
Ramamoorthy, who is based in the Rochester Hills, Michigan, was sitting in the middle seat while his wife sat on the aisle seat and the young victim sat in the window seat. The prosecutors called the attack "one of the most brazen airplane sexual assaults ever prosecuted."
Ramamoorthy was convicted and charged with sexual abuse in August by a grand jury. On Thursday afternoon, he appeared in court and Judge Terrence Berg sentenced him to nine years.
The prosecutor Matthew Schneider shared, "Everyone has the right to be secure and safe when they travel on airplanes. We will not tolerate the behavior of anyone who takes advantage of victims who are in a vulnerable position, and we are glad the jury agreed."
Ramamoorthy had initially shared with investigators that he had taken a pill and fallen into a deep sleep, so he could not have knowingly assaulted the woman. He shared that he only later recalled that the woman was sleeping on his knees, which he says his wife told him.
As reported by the Detroit Free Press, Assistant US Attorney Amanda Jawad wrote in a memo, "When he realized [the victim] was awake, the defendant turned and pretended to sleep on his wife's shoulder while his wife stared at [the victim]."
Both Ramamoorthy and his wife, later on, acknowledged that the pill was nothing more than a Tylenol and gave different reports of the series of events. According to his wife, she asked to switch seats because the woman kept falling asleep on her. However, no one other than the victim had asked to move. The wife has not yet been named.
During another interview, Ramamoorthy told an FBI agent that 'he might have' unhooked the woman's bra and also unzipped her pants. He also revealed that he had tried to penetrate the victim with his fingers but told investigators that he was unsuccessful.
However, evidence shown by the prosecution later disregarded his statement and shared that the woman had been penetrated.
Jawad shared that the victim was so disturbed and traumatized by the attack that she could not work afterward. "There are very few things that can demean a woman's sense of security and well-being more than vaginal penetration without consent. It is the ultimate violation. Especially where, as here, the victim is already isolated, confined and cut off from communication with the outside world. The trauma that the defendant inflicted on [the victim] will impact her for the rest of her life," Jawad shared.