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Airbubba
1st Apr 2002, 18:51
This is another story that has a lot of similar precedents, unfortunately.

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April 1, 2002

Man Accused of Sex Assault on Plane
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS


Filed at 1:16 p.m. ET

BOSTON (AP) -- A man was arraigned Monday on charges that he sexually assaulted a woman during an airline flight to Boston from Dallas.

Deepak Jahagirdar, 51, of Scottsdale, Ariz., pleaded innocent to charges of rape, assault with intent to rape and interfering with aircraft operations, said David Procopio, spokesman for the Suffolk District Attorney's office.

Jahagirdar, a marketing manager, was sitting next to the alleged victim on Delta Flight 2100 early Sunday, according to prosecutors.

Procopio said Jahagirdar assaulted the woman while she was asleep.

State troopers boarded the plane on Sunday at Logan International Airport and arrested Jahagirdar, officials said.

Bail was set at $2,500 and a hearing was set for April 29.

Jahagirdar is married with two children, Procopio said. His attorney, James W. Lawson, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Airbubba
1st Apr 2002, 19:19
Here's an incident from last year with similarities...

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Airplane Molester Gets Jail and Cane in Singapore

SINGAPORE, Jan 31 (Reuters) - An Indian man faces three strokes of the cane and a year in a Singapore jail after being convicted of groping a woman on an airplane while she slept.

Swarup Das's claim that he was asleep when he accidentally touched the woman was dismissed by Judge Hoo Sheau Peng as "hard to believe," the Straits Times newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The 27-year-old computer engineer was seated beside the woman on a Singapore Airlines flight from San Francisco to Singapore on September 8 last year.

The woman covered herself with a blanket before dozing off, but was awakened by Das's right hand resting on her groin.

She pushed his hand back thinking it was an accident, only to be woken 30 minutes later when she felt his fingers slipping into her underwear. She flung his hand away and informed the cabin crew of the incident.

Das was sentenced on Tuesday and was appealing against it. The court was not immediately available for comment.

Brenoch
2nd Apr 2002, 09:16
Im sure this will eventually ban flat-bed type seats.. :D

Hahn
2nd Apr 2002, 11:17
Nerver touch a sleeping bird!!!

SaturnV
2nd Apr 2002, 11:54
(I don't think she said 'genitalia'.) And a charge of forcible rape would usually bring with it a bail amount much hgher than $2,500, so it seems to be mainly a sexual assault offense.


Arizona man accused of assaulting woman on Hub flight

by Franci Richardson
Boston Herald
Tuesday, April 2, 2002

An Arizona man bringing his teenage son to visit Harvard University was arrested for allegedly putting his hand down the jeans of a woman sleeping next to him on a Delta flight, prosecutors said yesterday. [Woman was 22 years old, according to Boston Globe.]

"The victim . . . said she had awakened to find the subject's right hand down her jeans, under her panties, at least touching her (genitalia),'' prosecutor Michael Wallace said of Deepak T. Jahagirdar, 51, of Scottsdale.

Jahagirdar, a married father who works as a marketing manager for Hospice, denies the charges of rape, assault with intent to rape and interfering with an aircraft, his attorney said.

"He entered a plea of not guilty and he denies the charges,'' James W. Lawson, a Boston attorney, said at Jahagirdar's arraignment at East Boston District Court.

Jahagirdar had boarded Delta Flight 2100 Sunday afternoon in Phoenix, sitting two rows in front of his son, a source said.

Before the flight took off, the Saugus woman, whose name is being withheld because she is an alleged sexual abuse victim, asked the stewardess for a pillow and blanket and fell asleep.

The woman woke to find Jahagirdar's hand down her jeans and screamed before bolting to find a flight attendant, according to the police report.

"The victim stated she yelled at him and pulled this subject's right hand from her, pushing his hand towards his face,'' read the police report. "The victim went to her knees, informing the (flight attendant) . . . `You are not going to believe this, the man next to me in 12D put his hand down my pants and grabbed my
(genitalia).' ''

Four Secret Service agents who happened to be on the flight monitored Jahagirdar until the plane landed.

After Jahagirdar's arrest, police conducted tests on his hands while the victim, accompanied by her parents, went to Beverly Hospital for a rape exam.

Phone calls to Jahagirdar's Scottsdale home went unreturned.

However, a young man who said he was a high school sophomore and identified himself as Jahagirdar's son, defended him.

"My dad is one of the nicest men ever,'' he told the East Valley Tribune of Phoenix outside the family's suburban two-story stucco house.

Flip Flop Flyer
2nd Apr 2002, 12:02
Ok, if true this is disgusting and the guy should be spending the summer behind bars. But can someone please explain to me the relevance to flight safety ref. the charges of interfering with flight safety ? I mean, girl friend and I have enjoyed a few "interesting" moments onboard aircraft, just wondering if we could be charged with interference of flight safety when we, ehhh, "touch" each other ... Better to avoid US carriers perhaps ? Yes, wait until on ground would be another option but far as I remember there is no law prohibiting us from, ehh, having a bit of fun onboard. Please enlighten me.

The Greaser
2nd Apr 2002, 12:24
How can this guy possibly be charged with rape in this situation, anyway sounds like he needs to be locked up.

Airbubba
2nd Apr 2002, 12:54
Perhaps it's a case of cultural misunderstanding but here is yet another similar news report:

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September 4, 1999

Groping In High Places?

He insists he touched a co-passenger accidentally, but the woman, whose name has not been released by the police, insists he extended his hand to the row in front of him and fondled her during a flight from Detroit to Chicago.

The 26-year-old woman alerted the crew, and when the 90-minute flight ended, the police were waiting for the 32-year-old Indian immigrant at the O'Hare International Airport.

The immigrant, who was arrested on Monday, was charged with criminal sexual abuse. He has been released on bail and might have to undergo therapy before the trial begins.

If he is found guilty, he faces up to three years in jail, a fine, and deportation to India.


http://www.rediff.com/news/1999/sep/04us2.htm