Man sent to prison for sexual abuse on U.S. plane

PHILADELPHIA,  (Reuters) – A 65-year-old man was  sentenced to a year in a federal prison and fined $10,000 yesterday for sexually abusing a fellow airline passenger while  she slept under a blanket in the seat beside him.

Ramesh Advani, a New Jersey resident, had pleaded guilty to  abusive sexual contact for groping the sleeping woman and  sliding his hand into her pants.

The abuse occurred on an overnight Continental Airlines  flight from Hong Kong to Newark in May 2010. Since it took  place in an American aircraft over international waters, the  case was considered a federal crime.

Two witnesses, seated in the row behind Advani and his  unidentified victim, saw what was happening and tried to stop  the incident.

“The witnesses began kicking the victim’s seat in an  attempt to alert the victim as to what was occurring,”  according to legal documents filed in the case. When she awoke,  she told airline personnel what had happened.

Advani’s attorney, John Arlia, could not immediately be  reached for comment.

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