Sexual Assault on Spirit Airlines Flight Lands Man in Prison for 9 Years


By Tresa Baldas and Ann Zaniewski | 13 December 2018

DETROIT FREE PRESS — With his wife crying in the courtroom, a Rochester Hills man was sentenced to nine years in prison Thursday for sexually assaulting a sleeping woman on an airplane, sticking his hands down her pants and penetrating her genitalia while his wife sat next to him.

As prosecutors put it, Prabhu Ramamoorthy “committed one of the most brazen airplane sexual assaults ever prosecuted in this district” when he knowingly took advantage of a sleeping, intoxicated woman who could not fight back.

The 35-year-old defendant, who chose not to speak at his sentencing hearing or address the victim, will be deported to India when he gets out of prison. He will never be allowed back into the United States. …

Prosecutors said in court filings that midair sexual assaults are on the rise, with FBI statistics showing a 66-percent increase from 2014 to 2017.

“That is in part due to increasingly ‘cramped, confined spaces; alcohol and drugs; fewer flight attendants; and dark cabins on night flights’ — factors that ‘likely embolden offenders,’ ” [Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda] Jawad wrote. […]

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