14 Dec 2018: US: Indian-techie, who assaulted sleeping-woman on flight, gets 9-years jail
A federal court in Detroit sentenced an Indian techie to nine years in prison after he was convicted of assaulting a sleeping woman on a plane.
The accused, Prabhu Ramamoorthy, will be deported to India after he completes his sentence. He procured an H-1B visa in 2015 and went to the US.
The prosecutors wanted 11 years jail time for Ramamoorthy.
The case: While his wife sat next to him, Ramamoorthy assaulted woman
During a flight from Las Vegas to Detroit, Ramamoorthy assaulted his co-passenger while his wife sat next to him.
The evidence produced in court showed he digitally penetrated her while she was sleeping. When the woman woke up she found her pants unzipped and unbuttoned.
She then sought help from flight attendants and subsequent action was taken against him.
Verdict: Judge hopes the verdict sets a good example
Delivering the verdict, Judge Terrence Berge hoped this would be enough to stop people from committing such crimes in the future. Ramamoorthy was convicted in August and was sentenced recently.
US Attorney Matthew Schneider noted everyone had right to feel secure on airplanes.
"We will not tolerate the behavior of anyone, who takes advantage of victims who are in a vulnerable position," he said.
Defense: Ramamoorthy showed he was confused, didn't understand the language
Notably, during the trial, Ramamoorthy gave an impression that he was a confused man left in the US, and had no understanding of the language.
But the act was not bought by federal prosecutors considering he had a high-paying job in the States.
"His lack of empathy and remorse should not go unnoticed by this court," they argued inside the court.
Data: There has been a rise in mid-air sexual assaults
Recently, many Indian nationals have been convicted of sexual crimes in the US.
The FBI in a recent report noted there has been a rise in mid-air assaults. From 2014 to 2016, there was a 66% rise in such cases.
Cramped, confined spaces; alcohol and drugs, fewer flight attendants; and dark cabins on night flights, were attributed as factors for this in the report.