17-year-old Molested by Middle-aged Man on Flight to Seattle; Authorities Arrested after Crew reported the Crime

A 39-year-old foreigner was found guilty by a federal court jury in Seattle of having sexual contact with a child on an Emirates flight from Dubai to Seattle that was sexually abusive. The conviction came on Monday, after a three-day trial and four hours of deliberation by the jurors.

An arrest was made at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on February 18, 2024. Kumar was sitting next to the window, with an empty seat between him and the victim. He started talking to the 17-year-old girl and asked her to join him for coffee, but she said no.

It was said by the Department of Justice that the girl later fell asleep under a blanket. Prosecutors said Kumar then put his blanket over the empty middle seat. Prosecutors showed the jury onboard video surveillance that they said showed Kumar’s arm moving toward the victim from under the blanket.

The girl woke up to find Kumar’s hand under her blanket. The hand then moved up her arm, into her shirt, and onto her breast. At first, the victim was shocked. She quickly told her mother what happened, and the two of them went to the bathroom.

The Emirates crew was told right away, and police were ready to meet the plane when it arrived. Kumar was caught after the victim, her family, and the police talked to him. The case was then given to the FBI, which brought charges to a grand jury.

“No one knows that someone will grope them on a flight,” Nagi told the judges. “He didn’t think the victim would be brave enough to tell on him.”

The Department of Justice says Kumar could go to jail for up to two years. On August 1, 2024, he will be given his sentence.