A 62-year-old Indian man has been sentenced to eight months in jail by a US court for groping a woman seated next to him aboard a flight from Houston to Newark in March this year.
Devender Singh, who lives in Louisiana, had last month pleaded guilty before district judge Stanley R Chesler in Newark to an information charging him with abusive sexual contact.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Chesler sentenced Singh to serve two years of supervised release and required him to register as a sex offender.
The incident happened in March when Singh was travelling from Houston to Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey.
According to court documents, Singh was seated next to a woman who occupied a window seat on a United Airlines flight. While the plane was in the air, the woman fell asleep. She awoke to find Singh kissing her face with his hand inside her shirt.
After pushing Singh off her and telling him to get away, the woman went to the back of the plane and told a flight crew member what had happened, asking that the police be present when the plane landed, the Department of Justice said.
The federal government has exclusive jurisdiction over all sexual abuse cases that occur on aircraft in flight in the United States.