NEWARK, N.J. – A man admitted on Thursday to touching the buttocks and vagina of a woman who fell asleep while sitting next to on a flight from Los Angeles, California to Newark, New Jersey in July 2016.
According to court statements and documents, the incident occurred when Veerabhadrarao Kunam, 58, of Visakhapatnam, India sat next to a woman who sat in the middle seat on a Virgin America redeye flight on July 29 and 30, 2016. The woman fell asleep as the plane was in flight and Kunam touched her without her consent.
Kunam was arrested and taken into federal custody by the FBI in Newark on July 30, 2016. The federal government has exclusive jurisdiction over all sexual abuse cases that occur while a plane is in flight in the U.S. Kunam pleaded guilty to assault in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States in a Newark federal courtroom.
He is expected to be sentenced on March 22, 2017, and should be sentenced between 30 and 60 days in prison and up to 90 days in an inpatient alcohol treatment center.
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- Virgin_America_Airbus_320_N846VA_Photo_194_(13836583815): By Grant Wickes