Man accused of sexually assaulting sleeping woman on Spirit Airlines flight


A man from India is accused of sexually assaulting a 22-year-old woman Wednesday while she slept against a window on a flight from Las Vegas to Detroit, according to federal court filings.

The court filing stated that Ramamoorthy also admitted that he "unzipped the woman's trousers part-way and put his finger inside".

She revealed that the man was pushing his "fingers in her (privates) and enthusiastically moving them".

Ramamoorthy, who works for a Troy-based information technology company, is charged with aggravated sexual abuse, a five-year felony.

The woman reported she fell asleep and woke up "to a hand in her trousers and noticed that her trousers and shirt were unbuttoned", according to the federal complaint.

A 34-year-old Indian man has been arrested in the USA for an alleged sexual assault on a woman passenger who fell asleep next to him on a flight. The attendants kept the woman in the back of the plane and offered her a different seat, and while they were talking to the victim, Ramamoorthy's wife came to the back of the plane to see what was going on.

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The woman instantly detailed the claims to flight orderlies, who said she "showed up obviously irritated and was crying", as per the dissension.

The victim told investigators that she woke up to discover the fellow passenger shoving his fingers inside her trousers and "vigorously moving them", according to a federal criminal complaint. Ramamoorthy was arrested and arraigned Wednesday after the plane landed at Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus.

In statements to the police, Ramamoorthy and his wife gave similar accounts, saying the accused had taken a pill, "plain Tylenol" and fallen asleep. In the statement, he also added that he hadn't done anything apart from learning from his wife that the 22-year-old woman was sleeping on his knees. The complaint says Ramamoorthy told an Federal Bureau of Investigation agent that he tried to touch the woman inappropriately. But the "flight attendants did not report that anyone asked them to change seats other than the victim", Jawad said.

Though rare, such incidents involving passengers - and even airline staff - have been reported previously on multiple airlines.

Ramamoorthy has worked as a project manager in Metro Detroit for more than two years, defense lawyer Richard O'Neill said. "There have been no allegations from anywhere that his behaviour has ever been inappropriate prior to this incident", O'Neill said. "I have a hard time with some of these allegations but that's what a trial is for".

Spirit Airline officials did not respond to requests for comment.