Spirit passenger accused of sexual assault on flight from Las Vegas

Elias Hubbard
January 5, 2018

The alleged incident took place on a Wednesday Spirit Airlines flight from Las Vegas, Nevada, to Detroit Metro Airport in Romulus, Michigan, while the woman was asleep, according to federal court filings obtained by the Detroit Free Press.

Detroit Free Press reported the woman passenger complained that she woke up to find her shirt and trousers unbuttoned with a hand in her trousers. She also says her trousers were undone and her shirt was unbuttoned to reveal her breasts. She said a flight attendant then moved her to a seat behind the man harassing her. The attendants kept the woman in the back of the plane and offered her a different seat, and while they were talking to the victim, Ramamoorthy's wife came to the back to see what was going on, Jawad said.

The complaint alleges that the 22-year-old woman fell asleep during the Wednesday flight and awoke "to [his] hand in her trousers and noticed that her trousers and shirt were unbuttoned".

However, when Ramamoorthy was questioned by another agent he claimed that he "might have" un-done the woman's bra to play with it and that he touched her inappropriately, according to the complaint. "He stated that he tried to put his finger in her vagina but was not successful", according to the complaint. He later told authorities that he had fallen into a deep sleep and did not assault the woman.

Ramamoorthy, an Indian citizen in the US who has been approved for a travel visa, is being held without bond until his trial, according to the Detroit News.

Ramamoorthy has a detention hearing scheduled at 1 p.m. Thursday.

Also during Wednesday's hearing, Price asked for Whalen to allow Ramamoorthy to read the complaint while he was still in the courtroom.

"It's something I don't want to send with him, because it might endanger him in the jail", she said.

Price didn't immediately respond to a Free Press request for comment. The teen - an unaccompanied minor on crutches due to a foot injury - had told the Federal Bureau of Investigation that a 45-year-old pilot gripped her butt, touched her inner thigh and partly leaned on her as she was sleeping in her window seat, the Free Press reported at the time.

Spirit spokesman Stephen Schuler said the airline is "fully cooperating with law enforcement".

The number of federal investigations into sexual assault aboard airlines has been increasing slowly, up to more than 60 in 2017 as of early December, from 57 in 2016 and 40 the year before.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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