A man has been arrested after he allegedly put his hands down a sleeping female passenger’s underpants – as his wife sat next to him.
Daily Mail reports that the alleged assault took place on an overnight Spirit Airlines flight from Las Vegas to Michigan.
Prabhu Ramamoorthy was arrested after the 22-year-old victim told authorities she woke up to find her pants and shirt unbuttoned and the man’s hand ‘aggressively’ down her pants.
The 34-year-old’s wife sat next to him in an aisle seat.
The incident is believed to have taken place around in the early hours of the morning – 40 minutes before the flight landed.
Ramamoorthy, an Indian citizen, only stopped his assault when the victim, who was in the window seat, woke up suddenly, it is claimed.
Spirit staff told authorities that she came to the back of the plane shaking and crying with her trousers and shirt unbuttoned.
Ramamoorthy told police that he had taken a sleeping pill and was not awake at the time of the alleged attack, and claims his wife said the victim had been sleeping across his knees.
His wife gave the same information to investigators, leading to them believing she was covering for him.
Federal prosecutor Amanda Jawad said: “It seems that she’s either colluding with the defendant to cover up his actions or she’s completely oblivious to what he did.
“What makes this offense particularly egregious and the defendant even more of a danger to the community is the fact that it took place on an airplane.
“He was brazen enough to do this basically in public, next to his wife where anyone could have seen him.”
Ramamoorthy later altered his story, telling an FBI agent that he might have unclasped the sleeping stranger’s bra ‘while playing with it’ and had cupped her breasts over her blouse.
Court documents show Ramamoorthy also admitted ‘unzipping the woman’s trousers part-way and putting his finger in her underpants’ in an attempt to digitally penetrate her, but was ultimately unsuccessful.
He briefly appeared in US District Court in Detroit for a preliminary hearing and was remanded to jail to await a detention hearing.
He has since requested the US government to contact the Indian consulate regarding his case.