Ganesh Parkar was arrested in Newark, New Jersey.
An Indian American man from Windsor, New Jersey, Ganesh Parkar, 40, wrote a six-page apology letter to a woman he sexually molested on an Air India flight from Mumbai to Newark. However, it was to no avail, as the woman stuck with her complaint and the accused was handed over to law enforcement authorities when the flight landed in New Jersey.
Parkar had appeared in federal court last month to face sexual abuse charges, as The American Bazaar reported. U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced that Parkar was charged by criminal complaint with one count of abusive sexual contact on an airplane.
Parkar was later released on $50,000 unsecured bond, home detention with electronic monitoring and surrender of his passport and all travel documents, according to the Justice Department. The abusive sexual contact charge carries a statutory maximum of up to two years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He could also be deported as he is an Indian national.
According to the complaint: while on a December 21 Air India flight from Mumbai to Newark, Parkar moved from his ticketed seat in the business class section of the plane to the economy class section and sat next to a female passenger seated in a center row. When the woman fell asleep, Parkar placed his hand on her breast without her consent.
More details have now emerged of the incident.
AI 191 had taken off from Mumbai at 2am on December 21. Four hours into the flight, the cabin crew found a woman crying hysterically in the rear galley. The woman, who was in economy class row 34, said that a person sitting next to her had put his hands on her breasts. She shouted at him, warned him and then walked to the rear galley to complain to the crew, reported The Times of India.
“The alleged molestor was assigned business class seat 8F, which is in the second row of the aircraft (it was a two-configuration aircraft, business and economy). He told the cabin crew in the business section of the Boeing 777 that he would be sitting in the economy section as his colleague was there and they had to complete some work,” said sources, according to the Times.
After the woman’s complaint, the cabin crew confronted him. “The man told the crew that he was a frequent economy-class flyer and could not sleep in business class. He said he found a vacant seat and occupied the same,” said sources.
However, after the accused realized that the woman was very upset and was going to file a written complaint with the authorities in the US on arrival, he began groveling and requested the crew to allow him to meet the woman to apologize and say that he had accidentally touched her while he himself was asleep. The woman, however, refused to meet him.
Realizing the trouble he was in, the man, who has a 11-year-old daughter, penned a six-page apology letter begging “please do not let a moment’s stupidity on my part kill my children’s future. I beg of you. I know I should have thought of these things before… I acknowledge I was stupid. Please do not let everyone suffer because of me”. He also said he had a “handicapped brother” and that he had “just moved to the US from India”.
The letter, accessed by the Times, also said that any legal blot would affect his chances of a US citizenship.
“I wish I could rewind time and correct what has happened. But please do not let five minutes of stupidity kill what I have worked on for 40 years… Because of the immigration status we are in, it means punishment for all linked to me,” he writes.
It was to no avail. Parkar was arrested when the flight landed in Newark.