U.S. Attorney's Office
District of New Jersey
(973) 645-2888
October 24, 2014

Louisiana Man Sentenced to Eight Months in Prison for Abusive Sexual Contact of Sleeping Woman on Flight to New Jersey

NEWARK, NJ—A Louisiana man was sentenced today to eight months in prison for 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, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler to an information charging him with abusive sexual contact. Judge Chesler imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court. 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.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Chesler sentenced Singh to serve two years of supervised release and required him to register as a sex offender.

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.

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

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