A man has been accused of aggravated sexual assault after a 22-year-old woman claimed she was sexually assaulted on an overnight flight from Las Vegas to Detroit.
The victim alleged that the 34-year-old man, Prabhu Ramamoorthy, unbuttoned her shirt, unzipped her pants and repeatedly groped/fondled her while she was asleep.
The woman claims she woke up to Ramamoorthy’s hand down her pants, and noticed her pants were unzipped and her shirt was unbuttoned. She immediately reported the incident to flight attendants, who asserted that she was visibly upset and crying.
Ramamoorthy was arrested immediately following the flight landing in Detroit, and a subsequent investigation ensued.
According to the criminal complaint, Ramamoorthy stated he “might have” touched the woman’s breasts over her blouse,
Also, according to the complaint, he further specified that he partially unzipped her pants.
Ramamoorthy’s defense attorney, Richard O’Neil, is skeptical of these allegations, considering Ramamoorthy has had no prior history of sexual abuse. According to Detroit News, O’Neil states, “I have a hard time with some of these allegations but that’s what a trial is for. There have been no allegations from anywhere that his behavior has ever been inappropriate prior to this incident.”
However, Federal Prosecutor, Amanda Jawad, told The Washington Post that Ramamoorthy committed this heinous act while his wife sat beside him. This speaks to the threat Ramamoorthy poses to the public as he committed this act with little regard for who would see.
According to the report, Ramamoorthy is held with no bail and is awaiting a preliminary examination, set for January 17th.
Spirit Airlines has been cooperative with law enforcement in regards to the investigation.
However, actions should also be taken to ensure this situation does not occur in the future.
It is important to note that this is not the first case of sexual assault on an airline flight. In fact, according to CNN, FBI investigations into sexual assaults on airplanes have increased by 66% from 2014 to 2017.
It is the responsibility of the airline and the flight attendants to ensure the safety and security of their passengers. With that said, there should be an outlined procedure for flight attendants to follow in the event that sexual assault takes place.
This story is on-going.