Prabhu Ramamoorthy, 34, was arrested in Michigan following the alleged attack on an overnight Spirit Airlines flight from Las Vegas. The victim, a 22-year-old sitting in a window seat next to him, told authorities she woke up to find her pants and shirt unbuttoned and the man’s hand down her pants on Thursday. His wife was sitting in the seat next to him. The attack is alleged to have taken place around 5.30am, about 40 minutes before landing.
Ramamoorthy stopped after the victim woke up. She went to the back of the plane to report the incident to a flight attendant, according to a criminal complaint.
Spirit staff told authorities that she came to them crying with her pants and shirt unbuttoned. She was offered a different seat for the remainder of the flight.
Ramamoorthy told investigators he took a sleeping pill and was not awake for the alleged attack.
He added that his wife had told him the woman was sleeping on his knees.
Ramamoorthy’s wife gave the same story, which led prosecutors to believe she was defending 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.