HOUSTON, TEXAS–61-year-old Devender Singh of Baton Rouge, Louisiana is accused of sexually touching a sleeping woman whom he did not know during a flight from Houston to Newark. Singh, an Indian national, appeared in federal court today before Judge Madeline Cox Arleo. He is charged with one count of abusive sexual contact.
The alleged incident occurred on March 2, while Singh was on a United Airlines flight to Newark Liberty International Airport. According to a filed complaint, the woman seated next to Singh fell asleep after the plane took off. When she subsequently woke up, Singh was touching his exposed penis while he kissed her face. His hand was also shoved inside of her shirt. The shocked woman pushed the man away and immediately went to the back of the plane to alert crew members of Singh’s disturbing behavior.
Police were present when the plane landed in Newark and Singh was taken into federal custody by the FBI. If convicted, Singh could go to jail for up to two years and face a fine of $250,000.
Special agents with the FBI will be leading the investigation into the incident and J. Jamari Buxton of the U.S. Attorney’s Office General Crimes Unit in Newark is representing the United States in the case.
As a general rule, the federal government handles all U.S. cases of abuse that happen in American airspace.
The alleged incident involving Singh echoes an occurrence in 2013, when a couple had sex on a Canada Air Flight to Las Vegas. Jason Chase, 38, and Alicia Lander, 24, performed ‘lewd, indecent, and obscene’ sex acts on a plane full of travelling families in June. The pair dodged jail completely and instead had to pay a $250 fine.
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