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Flier convicted of sexually assaulting sleeping woman

Robert Snell
The Detroit News
A Spirit Airlines flight departing from Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

Detroit — A federal jury Thursday convicted a Rochester Hills man of sexually assaulting a sleeping woman aboard a Detroit-bound flight.

Following a five-day trial, the jury deliberated for less than four hours before convicting Prabhu Ramamoorthy, 35, who faces up to life in federal prison. If released, Ramamoorthy will be deported to India.

He will be sentenced Dec. 12 by U.S. District Judge Terrence Berg.

The verdict came seven months after federal prosecutors said Ramamoorthy assaulted the 22-year-old woman during a Spirit Airlines flight from Las Vegas while his wife sat in the next seat.

“We will not tolerate the behavior of anyone who takes advantage of victims who are in a vulnerable position, and we are glad the jury agreed," U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider said in a statement. "We appreciate the victim in this case for her courage to speak out.”

The woman said she was sitting in a window seat next to Ramamoorthy, whose wife was in the aisle seat.

The victim said she fell asleep and woke up to discover a hand in her pants and noticed that her pants were unbuttoned and her shirt untied.

When she woke up, the man stopped, and the woman alerted a flight attendant.

Ramamoorthy initially told investigators he was in a deep sleep and didn’t do anything to the woman.

He 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.

Ramamoorthy has worked as a project manager at a Troy-based information technology company for more than two years.


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