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Woman sexually assaulted during Spirit flight from Las Vegas to Detroit
05 January 2018, 12:17 | Tara Lloyd
Wayne County Sheriff's Office
Ramamoorthy is accused of abusing a 22-year-old sitting in a window seat next to him on a Spirit Airlines flight from Las Vegas which landed in Detroit early on January 3, even as his wife was by his side.
The victim told FBI agents on Wednesday that she awoke in her window seat that morning to discover a fellow passenger, identified as 34-year-old Prabhu Ramamoorthy, shoving his fingers inside her trousers 'and vigorously moving them, ' according to a federal criminal complaint.
The woman said she was in a window seat next to Ramamoorthy when she fell asleep, only to wake up and discover his hand in her trousers.
When she woke up, the man stopped, and the woman alerted a flight attendant.
The teenager - an unaccompanied minor on braces because of foot damage - had told the Federal Bureau of Investigation that a 45-year-old pilot grasped her butt, touched her internal thigh and halfway inclined toward her as she was dozing in her seat by the window, the Free Press detailed at the time.
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Officials also said that he admitted to unzipping the woman's trousers and that he claimed that while he tried to put his finger in her genitals, he was unsuccessful. Ramamoorthy was arrested as soon as the flight landed. He was aboard a Spirit Airlines flight from Las Vegas to Detroit with his wife occupying the seat next to him. "When she completely woke up, the man halted", the grievance reports.
According to court documents, two flight attendants confirmed that Celia had come to them in tears with her shirt and trousers undone.
The complaint does not reveal where Ramamoorthy or the woman are from.
Prabhu was arrested when the plane landed.
Ramamoorthy and his wife are living on a temporary visa, thereby disqualifying the latter as suitable custodian, according to federal prosecutor, Amanda Jawad.
Both Ramamoorthy and his wife gave lengthier statements later indicating that the pill Ramamoorthy had taken was "plain Tylenol". He claimed that he had done nothing to his co-passenger, but that his wife had told him that Celia was sleeping on his knees. The magistrate found the case "very unusual" and ordered Ramamoorthy to be held after Jawad argued the assaulter posed a potential danger to people around him.
His wife told officials a similar story, and said that they had called the flight attendants to try to change seats. But the "flight attendants did not report that anyone asked them to change seats other than the victim", Jawad said.
"There's been no allegations from anywhere that his behavior has ever been inappropriate prior to this incident", O'Neill said.
A spokesman with Spirit Airlines said in an email that it is coordinating with law implementation.
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