A US man who touched a sleeping traveller on a plane was sentenced to almost two years in prison on Thursday.
In February 2020, a woman was sleeping in the middle seat of a flight from Cleveland to Los Angeles when Mohammad Jawad Ansari, 50, placed his hand on her inner thigh.
As soon as the victim, who was dressed, awoke, she pulled Ansari’s hand away before getting up, according to officials, and reporting the assault to the cabin crew.
Ansari, who had denied the charge of abusive sexual contact, was found guilty after a four-day trial in May, the Department of Justice said.
Ansari’s “groping left (his victim) shocked and afraid, and witnesses testified that she sobbed for the remainder of the flight,” a prosecutor told a court in Los Angeles.
The victim “now finds it difficult to sleep on flights because she worries all the time about what if someone touches her.
Ansari was sentenced to 21 months in prison by US District Judge Fernando Aenlle-Rocha, as well as a fine of nearly $40,000.