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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 13, 2018

Rochester Hills Man Sentenced on Charge of Sexual Abuse on an Aircraft

A Rochester Hills man was sentenced today to nine years in prison after having been convicted 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.

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

Ramamoorthy was convicted in August after a five-day trial that was conducted before United States District Judge Terrence Berg.  The jury deliberated approximately 3 1/2 hours before returning the guilty verdict.

According to evidence presented at trial, on January 3, 2018, Ramamoorthy engaged in a sexual act with a female, while she was sleeping.  During the 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. We appreciate the victim in this case for her courage to speak out.”

“The sentence announced today is proof that the safety and security of all aircraft passengers is a priority for the FBI, our local and federal law enforcement partners, and airline personnel,” said Timothy R. Slater, Special Agent in Charge, Detroit Division of the FBI. “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.”

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 December 13, 2018