A man seated between his wife and another woman is accused of molesting the passenger in the window seat even as his spouse was sitting in the next seat over.
An Indian national was ordered held without bail after prosecutors say he sexually assaulted his seat mate during a Wednesday evening Spirit Airlines flight from Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS) to Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW). The accuser told flight attendants that Prabhu Ramamoorthy violated her as she slept in a window seat despite the fact that his wife was seated in the aisle of the same row on the aircraft.
According to federal court filings obtained by the Detroit Free Press, the 22-year-old victim allegedly woke to discover an unwelcome “hand in her pants and noticed that her pants and shirt were unbuttoned.” The aggravated sexual assault complaint further asserts that Ramamoorthy was thrusting his “fingers in her and vigorously moving them,” adding, “When she fully woke up, the man stopped.”
Although crew members corroborate some details of the woman’s account, including the moment that the upset and crying passenger with an unbuttoned blouse and pants reported the assault to flight attendants, both Ramamoorthy and his wife have repeatedly denied any inappropriate contact with the accuser. The couple say that they were the ones who woke to an unpleasant surprise after discovering the sleeping seat mate lumped across the husband’s legs.
Court documents, however, reveal that the suspected molester was a bit more forthcoming in a written statement taken by federal investigators following the flight. In his statement, Ramamoorthy reportedly confessed that he “’might have’ undone (the woman’s) bra while playing with it, and that he had cupped her (clothed) breast.”
“He also indicated that he unzipped her pants part-way, and did put his finger into her pants,” according to a probable cause affidavit filed with the court. “He stated that he tried to put his finger in her vagina but was not successful.”
Prosecutors say that Ramamoorthy and his wife have changed their stories several times since his arrest. For his part, the accused predator says that he may be confused about some of the details about how the episode unfolded because he took a “strong sleeping pill” before the flight.