Man Pleads Guilty to Sexually Abusing Woman on Airplane

Tuesday, Apr 12, 2011  |  Updated 3:03 PM EDT
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Advani faces three years in prison.

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A 64-year-old New Jersey man has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a sleeping woman during a flight from Hong Kong to Newark.

Ramesh Advani, of Berkeley Heights, entered his guilty plea before U.S. Judge Dennis M. Cavanaugh on Tuesday.  Advani was charged in federal court because the flight was over international waters when the crime was committed.

Advani was arrested last May on charges of reaching under the blanket of a sleeping woman aboard the Continental flight and sexually abusing her. 

He was arrested by the FBI when Flight 98 from landed at Newark Liberty airport.

Advani allegedly touched the woman's "genitalia, groin and inner thigh" all while he moved  "napkins around inside of his pants," court papers said.

Two passengers witnessed the alleged sexual assault and kicked the woman's chair in an attempt to wake her up.  Investigators would not say if the woman had taken sleeping pills or other medication for the international flight.

Advani faces up to three years in prison.

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