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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 16, 2018

Rochester Hills Man Convicted of Sexual Abuse on an Aircraft

A federal jury convicted a Rochester Hills man of sexual abuse onboard an aircraft, announced United States Attorney Matthew Schneider.

Schneider was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Timothy R. Stater, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Detroit Field Division.

Convicted was Prabhu Ramamoorthy, 35.  Ramamoorthy is in the United States on a work visa and will be deported once he has served his sentence.

The five-day trial was conducted before United States District Judge Terrence Berg.  The jury deliberated approximately 3 1/2 hours before returning the guilty verdict.

The indictment alleged that on January 3, 2018, Ramamoorthy engaged in a sexual act with a female, while she was sleeping.  At trial, the government admitted evidence demonstrating that Ramamoorthy digitally penetrated the woman sleeping next to him during an overnight flight from Las Vegas to Detroit.  The sexual assault woke her up, she found her pants unbuttoned and unzipped, and she sought help from the flight attendants.

United States Attorney Matthew Schneider stated, ““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, and we are glad the jury agreed. We appreciate the victim in this case for her courage to speak out.”

“The safety and security of all aircraft passengers is a priority for the FBI, our local and federal law enforcement partners, and airline carrier personnel,” said Timothy R. Slater, Special Agent in Charge, Detroit Divison of the FBI. “The federal conviction of Prabhu Ramamoorthy demonstrates the FBI’s commitment to hold individuals accountable for their actions on an aircraft, especially those who commit such a heinous crime.  If you, or someone you know, is the victim of a crime during air travel, immediately notify a flight crew member, airport security police, and the FBI.  We remain committed to working with our federal, local, and private industry partners to ensure that anyone traveling by air is afforded a safe environment.”

A sentencing date has been set for December 12, 2018. Ramamoorthy faces up to life in prison

This case was investigated by the Wayne County Metropolitan Airport Authority, and Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Amanda Jawad and Maggie Smith.

Updated August 16, 2018