A Sterling man was indicted Wednesday on a charge of sexual abuse of a fellow passenger on a flight to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
Saurabh Agarwal, 40, faces a maximum sentence of two years imprisonment, if convicted.
According to court documents filed in Alexandria's federal court, Agarwal allegedly fondled the breast of the woman seated next to him on an American Airlines flight from Miami to D.C. on April 10. Agarwal is alleged to have initiated this conduct after the victim fell asleep following take off.
The victim, who was in the window seat, awoke to find Agarwal hugging her body, with his hand inside her bra, fondling her breast. Because she was afraid, the woman pretended to be asleep, according to charging documents. She eventually got up and went to the bathroom and told the flight attendant.
The passenger in the aisle seat had witnessed Agarwal's behavior, and was annoyed because she assumed that he and the victim were traveling together, charging documents said.
After the victim left, Agarwal touched the leg of the woman in the aisle seat, saying he dropped his drink. She quickly jumped up and went to the back of the plane where she saw the victim crying and realized that Agarwal and the victim did not know one another, documents said.
Air marshals onboard detained Agarwal until the plane landed at Reagan.