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Indian Engineer Sentenced for Groping Women During Flight

Software engineers might be the brand ambassadors of India. But they could also prove a huge embarrassment for the country, as has happened in the case of Thirumurthy Nakka Boomaiah , 35 and hailing from Chennai, in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

He has been sentenced to 69 days in prison in US for groping women during a flight from London to Philadelphia and assaulting flight attendants. But he has already spent the time in detention. He will be deported.

Boomaiah is married, well-traveled and had gone to US to work for a candy company near Washington D.C. He flew March 21 from London to Philadelphia aboard a British Airways flight, according to an affivadivit by FBI agent John Kitzinger. During the flight, Boomaiah allegedly rubbed the thigh of a woman sitting next to him, followed her to the bathroom and left his pants fly unzipped.

He later allegedly rubbed the thigh and buttocks of a female flight attendant. The FBI agent said that Boomaiah tried to kiss a passenger on her face and groped her between her legs. He also attacked the flight attendants who tried to restrain him. Eventually he was overpowered. For the rest of his flight he remained strapped to his seat, during which time he kept screaming obscenities.

But his misadventures did not end there. When he was first produced before a magistrate in Philadelphia, Boomaiah had to be wrestled to the courtroom floor by marshals after he leered at a female clerk during the hearing. 'I am a man!' Boomaiah shouted, according to a recording of the hearing. 'I am a man!'

'Sit down', a marshal said.

'Let me!' Boomaiah said. 'I am a man!'

Once Boomaiah was handcuffed, U.S Magistrate Judge Linda K. Caracappa ended the proceeding, cutting off the tape. Witnesses said he yelled at the clerk, 'I want that woman!'. But he had become sobered next time he was produced before the court. He was then in shackles right t hrough the proceedings.

A detailed psychological evaluation was ordered. His attorneys, James J. Eisenhower and Sean P. Whalen, said Boomaiah had not suffered from mental illness before, and that his behavior on the plane was an aberration. 'Boomaiah attended top universities in India and received a bachelor and master of engineering and a postgraduate diploma in management',the lawyers said in their filing to the court.

Apparently that stood him well in conviction. For he could have faced up to six months in prison. Instead the conviction was set off against the time he had already served when the sentence was pronounced. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Zaleski said the government was satisfied with the outcome. Boomaiah is now expected to be deported to India.


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