The Hush Post: An Indian national living in the United States on a temporary visa was arrested without bail after an appearance in federal court in Michigan on Thursday. Federal authorities in Michigan arrested 34-year-old Prabhu Ramamoorthy after a a 22-year-old woman sitting next to him accused him of groping her on an overnight flight when she fell asleep next to him.
The victim was sitting in a window seat next to him on a Spirit Airlines flight from Las Vegas to Detroit early on January 3, even as his wife was by his side. Federal prosecutor Amanda Jawad said that Ramamoorthy sat between his wife and the victim. He stopped the indecent act after the victim woke up, and the woman went to the back of the plane to report the incident to a flight attendant, the criminal complaint said.
Two flight attendants told federal investigators that the victim was crying and that her shirt was untied and that her pants were unbuttoned when she had reported the alleged attack at about 5:30 am, 40 minutes before the plane’s landing, the prosecutor said. The attendants kept the woman in the back of the plane and offered her a different seat.
Ramamoorthy was arrested after the plane landed, according to court documents. He told agents in a written statement that he had taken a pill and fallen into a deep sleep. The accused said that he hadn’t done anything and had learnt from his wife that the 22-year-old woman was sleeping on his knees.
Ramamoorthy later told an FBI agent he “might have” undone the woman’s bra and cupped her breast, according to court records. He also said he unzipped her pants and tried to digitally penetrate her but failed, according to the complaint.
Magistrate Judge Steven Whalen, who said it was a “very unusual case,” ordered Ramamoorthy to be held pending trial after the federal prosecutor argued that he was a flight risk and a potential danger to others around him. The prosecutor also contended that Ramamoorthy’s wife, who was also living in the United States on a temporary visa, would not make a suitable custodian for him. Ramamoorthy, who works for a Troy-based information technology company, is charged with aggravated sexual abuse, a five-year felony.