Man convicted of sexually abusing sleeping Spirit Airlines passenger2 min read


A Detroit man has been convicted of sexually assaulting a sleeping Spirit Airlines passenger while his wife was sitting next to him.

Prabhu Ramamoorthy, 35, faces life in prison after a federal jury convicted him last week for touching the 22-year-old woman on the Spirit Airlines flight earlier this year.

Ramamoorthy, who is an Indian national in the US on a work visa, abused the young woman on the flight from Las Vegas to Detroit on January 3. 

The victim told FBI agents that she awoke in her window seat to find Ramamoorthy shoving his fingers inside her pants ‘and vigorously moving them’. 

She said he stopped touching her when she opened her eyes but she noticed her pants and blouse were unbuttoned. 

The shaken and crying passenger immediately alerted flight attendants. 

Ramamoorthy, who was also sitting next to his wife, was arrested when the flight landed in Detroit. 

He had initially told police he had been in a ‘deep sleep’ during the flight and did not know where he had placed his hands.  

Ramamoorthy later changed his story, saying he might have unclasped the sleeping woman’s bra ‘while playing with it’ and had cupped her breasts over her blouse.

He also admitted that he ‘unzipped the woman’s pants part-way and put his finger in her pants’ in an attempt to digitally penetrate her, but says he wasn’t able to.   

Ramamoorthy is due to be sentenced on December 12. 

US Attorney Matthew Schneider said the jury deliberated about 3 hours before returning the verdict following a five-day trial. 

Ramamoorthy faces the possibility of life in prison. If released from prison, Schneider said Ramamoorthy will be deported to India. 

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