A man who harassed a 22-year-old woman on a flight from Las Vegas to Detroit was sentenced to 9 years in an American prison, a court that ruled Thursday.
The Indian national, Prabhu Ramamoorthy, lived in the United States on a work visa when, on January 3rd, he sexually abused a young woman on a flight from Spirit Airlines.
The victim, who was not named, woke up as the plane approached Detroit to find Ramamoorthy with his hand in her trousers and unbuttoned her shirt.
The 22-year-old fled backwards in the plane and warned the stewardesses of the attack.
The 35-year-old tech worker from India was found guilty by a jury in August for the sexual molestation of a sleeping victim during a night flight from Las Vegas to Detroit
Ramamoorthy, 35, based in Rochester Hills, Michigan, stood on the middle seat, with his wife on the aisle and the victim sitting on the chair by the window.
Prosecutors called the attack brutal & # 39 ;.
The Indian tech worker was convicted in August for sexual abuse by a big jury.
Attempting to soften his sentence, defense lawyers argued that the life of the 35-year-old had already passed, arguing that his sentence would be less than 10 years.
But prosecutors said Wednesday that they are looking for a prison sentence of 11 years. Ramamoorthy will then be immediately deported after serving the sentence.
"Everyone has the right to be safe and secure when traveling by plane, we do not tolerate the behavior of someone who is abusing victims who are in a vulnerable position and we are happy that the jury agreed, & # 39; said prosecutor Matthew Schneider.
Ramamoorthy initially told the researchers that he had taken a pill and had fallen into a deep sleep, so he could not have consciously attacked the woman.
He said that he could remember later that he had learned from his wife that the woman was sleeping on his knees.
Ramamoorthy and his wife later acknowledged that the pill was simply Tylenol, according to prosecutors, and gave conflicting reports about the events.
His wife apparently told the researchers that she had asked to change seats because the woman always fell asleep on her.
Those present, however, said that the authorities had asked no one but the victim to move.
The woman is not mentioned.
Ramamoorthy was a few centimeters away from his wife as he carried out the attack. He tried to claim that he had taken a very strong sleeping pill and would not have been able to carry out the attack knowingly. Later it was proven that it was normal Tylenol and he soon blamed researchers
Crew members aboard the Spirit Airlines flight were immediately informed when the 22-year-old man fled to the back of the aircraft. Pictured: in October 2017, a Spirit Airlines flight departs from LaGuardia Airport in New York
In a later interview Ramamoorthy told an FBI agent that he had released the woman's bra & # 39; and then had her pants unzipped.
He said he was trying to put his fingers in the victim, but told the researchers that he was not successful.
Proof of the prosecutor Ramamoorthy later refuted, because the woman was penetrated.
Sexual attacks on US aircraft saw a sharp rise in 2018, revealed a Washington Post report.
The 35-year-old now receives a 11-year sentence. He will be deported back to India after his release
Officials say that most cases are not fully reported or that victims need a significant amount of time to alert authorities afterwards.
& # 39; If you are the victim of a crime on the ground, what do you do? & # 39; said Paul Hudson, President of Flyer & # 39; s Rights. & # 39; You call 911 and report it to a policeman.
& # 39; But if you are in an airplane, you can not do that. You have to report via a stewardess and they have to report this to the captain, and the captain must report this to a civil servant for the airline … In many cases too much time has passed. & # 39;
According to the Association of Flight Managers, one in five flight attendants said that they & # 39; witnessed a passenger who had been sexually assaulted or had an abuse reported to them & # 39;
And & # 39; Nearly 1 in 5 stewards and clerks say they have been sexually abused and 70 percent say they have been sexually harassed by the air. & # 39;
Prosecutor Matthew Schneider praised the 22-year-old for reporting the crew to Ramamoorthy so quickly.
He said: "We appreciate the victim in this case for her courage to speak out. & # 39;
Ramamoorthy will appear on Thursday afternoon in a federal court in Detroit due to conviction.