Man convicted of groping woman asleep on plane

Man convicted of groping woman asleep on planePA

A man has been convicted of groping a woman while she slept next to him on a Southwest Airlines flight.

Srinivasa Erramilli, 45, of Aurora, was convicted by a federal judge on one could of abusive sexual contact during the flight from Las Vegas to Chicago on 14 June 2011.

The software consultant had been sitting in a middle seat between the woman and her husband as the couple returned from Las Vegas after celebrating their 34th anniversary there.

The victim told the court that she had chosen a window seat so she could sleep, while her husband sat in an aisle seat for easier access to the toilet, according to Fox News.

Mr Erramilli was the last passenger to board the plane and was given the seat between the pair.

The victim said she awoke a first time after feeling something rush against her thigh, then a second time after feeling stronger pressure against her leg.

She said she was awake when he grabbed her thigh, the third and final time. Other passengers testified that they heard her shout "Get your hands off me!"

According to court papers, Erramilli had pleaded with flight attendants not to call police after the plane landed in Chicago, saying his wife and children were meeting him there.

Erramilli was convicted in 2002 and sentenced to probation after grabbing a woman's breast on a Detroit-bound flight. And, in 2000, he was sentenced to two years of probation for a similar incident.

US District Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow will sentence Erramilli on 26 April, when he faces up to two years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.

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