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Press Release

Man Admits Assaulting Sleeping Girl On Airplane

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – An Indian national admitted that he assaulted a girl on a flight from Seattle, Washington, to Newark Liberty International Airport, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced today.

Vijaykumar Krishnappa, 29, pleaded guilty Nov. 8, 2017 before U.S. Magistrate Judge James B. Clark in Newark federal court to a superseding information charging him with assault in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States.  

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, while on a United Airlines flight from Seattle to Newark on July 23, 2017, Krishnappa intentionally assaulted a girl who was unknown to him and seated next to him on the flight. Krishnappa admitted that while the victim was asleep, he intentionally touched her near her groin over her leggings without her consent.  
Under the terms of the plea agreement, Krishnappa will be sentenced to between 30 and 90 days in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 17, 2018.

Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher in Newark, and the Port Authority of New York-New Jersey, with the investigation leading to the charges.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tazneen Shahabuddin of the U.S. Attorney’s Criminal Division in Newark.

Defense counsel: John H. Yauch Esq., Newark

Updated November 9, 2017

Press Release Number: 17-425