US court awards 9-year imprisonment to Indian techie for sexual assault on flight

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An Indian techie from Tamil Nadu who was living in the US on a work visa was sentenced to nine years in prison on charges of a “brazen sexual assault” against a fellow female passenger inside a commercial airplane early this year.

Prabhu Ramamoorthy, who came to the US on an H-1B visa in 2015, will be deported after he serves his sentence, a federal court in Detroit said.

According to evidence presented at the trial, Ramamoorthy was in a middle seat between the victim and his wife on a Spirit Airlines flight from Las Vegas. The 23-year-old victim, a model said he unzipped her pants, unbuttoned her shirt and molested her with his hands.

At trial, the victim testified that she woke up during the flight and “saw his hands inside me.” The victim said she felt “petrified, frozen.”

Prosecutors asked for an imprisonment of nearly 11 years, but US District Judge Terrence Berg settled on a nine-year term. He said he hoped it would be “grave enough” to deter others from committing similar crimes.

“Everyone has the right to be secure and safe when they travel on airplanes. We will not tolerate the behavior of anyone, who takes advantage of victims who are in a vulnerable position. We appreciate the victim in this case for her courage to speak out,” US Attorney Matthew Schneider said after the sentencing was announced.