An Indian national has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a sleeping passenger on a Spirit Airlines flight while his wife sat next to him.
A federal jury convicted Prabhu Ramamoorthy, 35, last week for touching a 22-year-old woman on a Spirit Airlines flight from Las Vegas, Nevada, to Detroit’s Metro Airport in January, the Daily Mail reported.
U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider said the jury handed down the verdict after three hours of deliberation.
Ramamoorthy, an Indian national who was authorized to stay in the U.S. on a work visa, shoved his fingers down the woman’s pants and “vigorously” moved them around her genitals before she woke up, according to a criminal complaint.
The victim told FBI agents he stopped touching her once she awoke but she noticed her blouse and pants were unbuttoned. The visibly upset passenger alerted flight attendants, who then notified the authorities.
Authorities arrested Ramamoorthy, whose wife was sitting next to him, on the ground in Detroit.
The IT manager initially told the police he did not know where his hands had been because he had been in a “deep sleep” during the flight.
The Indian national later said that he might have unhooked the woman’s bra because he was “playing with it” and used his hands to cup her breasts over her shirt.
Ramamoorthy also said he “unzipped the woman’s pants part-way and put his finger in her pants” in a failed attempt to penetrate her.
Ramamoorthy will appear before a judge for sentencing on December 12. He faces a sentence of up to life in prison, and if he is released, federal immigration authorities will deport Ramamoorthy to India.