Ga. man faces federal charges for inappropriate touching on flight

ATLANTA – A 61-year-old Alpharetta man faces federal charges that he groped a woman on a Dallas-to-Atlanta Delta Air Lines flight last month.

Ranchhodbhai Lakha is expected to appear before a United States Magistrate on Monday on charges of assault and abusive sexual contact.

“Sexual assault is a crime wherever it happens, including airplanes,” United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in a news release. “Many passengers let their guard down or even fall asleep in the closed, often crowded environment of an airplane, which makes this kind of sexual assault so deplorable.”

According to Yates’ office, a 20-year-old woman traveling to a family reunion in Atlanta who was sitting in the same row as Lakha fell asleep and awoke to find the man inappropriately touching her. She eventually alerted a flight attendant.

If convicted, Lakha faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $250,000 fine, according to the federal officials. Authorities are looking into whether Lakha was involved in similar incidents in Alabama.

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