NEWARK – A Berkeley Heights man is charged with abusive sexual contact for allegedly victimizing a woman aboard a flight from Hong Kong to Newark Liberty International Airport, United States Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced Monday.
Ramesh Advani, 63, was detained upon arrival in Newark on Friday and later arrested by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. U.S. District Magistrate Judge Michael A. Shipp released Advani on $100,000 bail Monday, secured with the house he and his wife own.
According to the complaint filed in Newark federal court, Advani was seated next to his victim on the overnight Continental Airlines flight. While the plane was in the air over international waters, the victim fell asleep in her seat with a blanket covering her from her chest to her thighs. While she was asleep, Advani allegedly reached his hand under the victim’s blanket and sexually abused her.
Two individuals seated in the row behind Advani and his victim observed the conduct and kicked the victim’s seat in an attempt to alert her, according to the complaint. When the victim awoke, she became aware of the abuse and informed the flight’s crewmembers.
If convicted of the abusive sexual contact charge, Advani faces a maximum potential penalty of three years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
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