U.S. Attorney's Office
District of New Jersey
(973) 645-2888
September 10, 2014

Louisiana Man Admits Abusive Sexual Contact of Sleeping Woman on Domestic Flight to New Jersey

NEWARK, NJ—A Louisiana man today admitted sexually touching a sleeping woman who did not know him aboard a flight from Houston to Newark Liberty International Airport, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Devender Singh, 62, an Indian national who lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler in Newark federal court to an information charging him with abusive sexual contact.

According to the documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Singh was seated next to a woman who occupied a window seat on a United Airlines flight from Houston to Newark. While the plane was in the air, the woman fell asleep. She awoke to find Singh kissing her face with his hand inside her shirt.

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.

The charge to which Singh pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of two years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 23, 2014.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford, and the Port Authority Police Department, under the direction of Superintendent Michael A. Fedorko, with the investigation leading to today’s plea.

The government is represented by J. Jamari Buxton of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.

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