A 34-year-old man was arrested after a woman passenger alleged that he sexually assaulted her on an overnight flight when she fell asleep next to him.
The 22-year-old was in the window seat, while Prabhu Ramamoorthy, an Indian national living in the United States on a temporary visa, was in the middle seat with his wife in the aisle seat.
When she woke up, the man stopped, and the woman alerted a flight attendant.
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.
Authorities say the sexual assault happened on a Spirit flight that was coming from Las Vegas to Detroit, and landed Wednesday morning. 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 of the plane to see what was going on.
The complaint does not reveal where Ramamoorthy or the woman are from.
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Before talking to the Federal Bureau of Investigation agent, however, Ramamoorthy claimed that he had been in "deep sleep" while the assault allegedly happened, and that the victim had fallen asleep on his knees.
Federal prosecutor Amanda Jawad said that Ramamoorthy sat between his wife and the victim.
Both Ramamoorthy and his wife gave lengthier statements later indicating that the pill Ramamoorthy had taken was "plain Tylenol".
He ultimately admitted to unzipping her trousers and attempting to digitally penetrate her, The Detroit News reports. She said a flight attendant then moved her to a seat behind the man harassing her. Magistrate Judge R. Steven Whalen ordered Ramamoorthy to be held pending trial.
Ramamoorthy has worked as a project manager in Metro Detroit for more than two years, defense lawyer Richard O'Neill said.
A representative for Spirit Airlines has stated that the company is cooperating with authorities.