Federal prosecutors: Louisiana man admits groping sleeping woman aboard Houston to NJ flight

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NEWARK, New Jersey — Federal prosecutors in New Jersey say a Louisiana man has admitted that he sexually touched a sleeping woman aboard a cross-country flight.

Devender Singh, a 62-year-old Indian national who lives in Baton Rouge, pleaded guilty Wednesday to a charge of abusive sexual contact. He faces up to two years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he's sentenced Oct. 23.

Prosecutors say Singh was seated next to the woman, who occupied a window seat on the United Airlines flight from Houston to Newark Liberty International Airport. The woman did not know Singh.

While the plane was in the air, the woman fell asleep. Prosecutors say she awoke to find Singh kissing her face with his hand inside her shirt, and he was touching himself in a sexual manner.

After pushing Singh off of 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 federal government has exclusive jurisdiction over all sexual abuse cases that occur on aircraft in flight in the United States.

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