Indian Man who sexually assaulted sleeping passenger on Spirit Airlines flight could face life imprisonment and deportation

According to the federal prosecutor, Prabhu Ramamoorthy, who is living on a work visa, was sitting between his wife and the victim when the incident occurred

                            Indian Man who sexually assaulted sleeping passenger on Spirit Airlines flight could face life imprisonment and deportation
(Source:Getty Images)

An Indian man accused of sexually assaulting a sleeping woman aboard a Spirit Airlines flight was found guilty last week and could face a life imprisonment sentence, according to reports.

Prabhu Ramamoorthy was arrested after a 22-year-old woman alleged that she was sitting in a window seat next to the accused on the flight from Las Vegas that landed in Detroit early on January 3. The incident reportedly occurred despite the man's wife sitting by his side in the plane. 

The victim told the investigators that she woke up at night to find her pants and shirt unbuttoned and the man's hand inside her trousers. 

According to federal prosecutor Amanda Jawad, Ramamoorthy was sitting between his wife and the victim. The criminal complaint states that the accused stopped after the victim woke up, and then she went to the back of the plane to report the incident to a flight attendant.

Ramamoorthy, who has been living in the US on a work visa, was taken into custody after the flight landed and was charged with aggravated sexual abuse. He was previously employed as a project manager at a technology group in the US.

Ramamoorthy, who was found guilty of digital penetration, faces up to life in prison. Reports state that if he is given a more lenient sentence, he will then be deported to his home country after he serves his sentence.

His sentencing date has been scheduled for December 12, according to The Washington Post. 

Ramamoorthy reportedly said in a written statement that he was not aware of his actions because he was in a "deep sleep" after taking a pill. His wife later revealed that the pill was "plain Tylenol," according to reports.

According to court filings, Ramamoorthy, in an interview with an FBI agent had said that he "might have" undone the victim's bra while playing with it. 

A special agent with the Detroit Divison of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Timothy R. Slater, said: "The safety and security of all aircraft passengers is a priority for the FBI, our local and federal law enforcement partners, and airline carrier personnel.

"The federal conviction of Prabhu Ramamoorthy demonstrates the FBI's commitment to hold individuals accountable for their actions on an aircraft, especially those who commit such a heinous crime," CNN reported Slater as saying.