An Indian doctor who has been identified as 28-year old Vijakumar Krishnappa has reportedly been arrested for allegedly groping a minor girl on a United Airlines flight.
Reports suggest that the Indian doctor is studying medicine in the United States on a fellowship for doctors. The incident happened on a New Jersey bound United Airlines flight. Reports suggest that Vijakumar Krishnappa allegedly groped the girl who was sitting next to him on the flight.
Reports suggest that the 16-year-old girl, who was travelling alone on July 23, was sleeping on the flight, when she felt a hand on his thighs. When she woke up suddenly, the man who was later identified as Vijakumar Krishnappa removed his hand as per reports released by a federal court complaint. The report says that the girl went back to sleep and woke up again to find to her horror that the man was groping her now.
The teenager then, reportedly told about the incident to the crew and demanded a change of seat that she was allowed. When the flight from Seattle landed at Newark Liberty International Airport, the girl, from Washington state, called her parents. While she did, the accused left the airport, said Johnny McCray, an attorney for the girl’s family.
Later, the girl’s family filed a complaint against United Airlines for neglecting to detain Krishnappa after the alleged assault, the report said. The FBI was called to handle the investigation. It used the flight manifest to track down Krishnappa, a doctor from India. The girl identified him from a photo array, ABC reported.
The Indian doctor, who was traced has been charged in the federal court in Newark, a day after the incident, according to court records filed by the FBI charging him with criminal sexual contact. Court records show he was arrested and charged with knowingly engaging in sexual contact with a minor female, the report said. He has been released on bond, placed on electronic monitoring, and ordered to not have any contact with minors while the criminal case is pending, according to court records.
In the meantime, Krishnappa has denied the charges. His court-appointed attorney, John Yauch, is quoted by media as saying, “adamantly denies the charges and deserves to be considered an innocent man.”
Meanwhile, United Airlines in a statement said, “The safety and security of our customers is our top priority. We take these allegations seriously and continue to work closely with the proper authorities as part of their review”.