Indian admits to molesting woman on US flight

Representational picture

Representational picture

Washington: An Indian man pleaded guilty to molesting a sleeping woman on a flight from Los Angeles International Airport to Newark Liberty International Airport in the US.

Veerabhadrarao Kunam, 58, of Visakhapatnam, on Thursday admitted to groping the woman on New Jersey-bound flight in July 2016, when he was presented before Judge Joseph A. Dickson in a Newark federal court, news website NJ.com reported.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, Kunam was seated next to a woman on a Virgin America red-eye flight. While the plane was in the air, the woman fell asleep. Kunam admitted that while she was asleep, he inappropriately touched her.

When the woman woke up and saw Kunam touching her, she got upset. Kunam also offered to buy a drink for a witness who confronted him "for any trouble I may have caused", according to a criminal complaint filed in US District Court.

Kunam was arrested on July 30 by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) after his flight arrived in Newark, according to prosecutors.

His attorney Alex Spiro said that Kunam "remains remorseful for the unfortunate incident that occurred".

The Indian man faces 30 to 60 days in jail, and up to 90 days of inpatient alcohol treatment, according to the US Attorney's Office.

His sentencing has been scheduled for March 22.

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