Federal Jury Convicts Man of Sexually Abusing a Minor Aboard Flight to Minneapolis
MINNEAPOLIS – A federal jury convicted a Minneapolis man for engaging in abusive sexual contact on an airplane, announced Acting U.S. Attorney W. Anders Folk.
Following a three-day trial before Judge Nancy E. Brasel, Neeraj Chopra, 40, was convicted on one count of abusive sexual contact.
According to the evidence presented at trial, in April 2019, Chopra knowingly engaged in abusive sexual contact with a 16-year-old victim who was seated next to him aboard a Jet Blue flight from Boston to Minneapolis. During the flight, Chopra retrieved a blanket from his backpack and draped it over his lap, with a portion of the blanket also covering the victim’s right leg. Chopra put his hand under the blanket and began inappropriately touching the victim. Chopra ignored the victim’s multiple requests to stop and continued to inappropriately touch the victim.
Chopra faces up to two years in prison and a fine up to $250,000. At sentencing, a federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing date has yet to be scheduled.
This case was the result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport Police.
This case was tried by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lauren O. Roso and Michelle E. Jones.