Federal jury convicts man of sexually assaulting woman on plane

Gavel. Photo: Pxhere

Aug. 20 (UPI) — An Indian man faces prison and deportation after a federal jury convicted him of sexually assaulting a woman on board a Spirit Airlines flight, U.S. attorneys announced on Thursday.

Prabhu Ramamoorthy, 35, digitally penetrated a woman as she slept in the seat next to him on board a flight from Las Vegas to Detroit on January 3. The assault woke her up and she found her pants unbuttoned and unzipped. Ramamorthy’s wife was sitting next to him as the assault took place.

“Everyone has the right to be secure and safe when they travel on airplanes,” U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider said in a statement. “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.”

During the investigation, Ramamoorthy admitted to police that he attempted to penetrate the woman with his fingers. During the trial, his attorney, James Amberg, said Ramamoorthy gave an incriminating statement because he believed he would be tortured if he didn’t — a belief partly inspired by a 2015 Indian film about corrupt police, The Washington Post reported.

Ramamoorthy is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 12. He is in the United States on a work visa and prosecutors said he will be deported after serving his prison term.

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