A male passenger from the United States has been sentenced to nearly two years in jail for groping a fellow passenger who was asleep on a plane. Mohammad Jawad Ansari, aged 50, placed his hand on the inner thigh of a woman while she was in the middle seat during a flight from Cleveland to Los Angeles in February 2020.
The victim, who was wearing a dress, woke up and promptly pushed Ansari’s hand away. She then proceeded to inform the cabin crew about the incident. After a four-day trial in May, Ansari, who had initially denied the charge of abusive sexual contact, was ultimately found guilty, according to a statement from the Department of Justice.
During the trial, a prosecutor described the victim’s state of shock and fear, noting that witnesses testified to her sobbing for the duration of the flight. As a consequence of this incident, the victim now experiences difficulties falling asleep due to constant worries about potential unwanted physical contact.
US District Judge Fernando Aenlle-Rocha sentenced Ansari to 21 months in jail and also ordered him to pay a sum exceeding $40,000