- 33-year-old Sudipta Mohanty from Boston is accused of masturbating and exposing himself within the view of a 14-year-old female seated next to him.
An Indian American physician was arrested and charged yesterday (Aug. 10) for allegedly masturbating and exposing himself within the view of a 14-year-old female seated next to him onboard a flight from Honolulu to Boston in May last year. Dr. Sudipta Mohanty, 33, of Boston, Massachusetts, was charged with “one count of lewd, indecent and obscene acts while in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States,” the Department of Justice said in a press statement. “He was later released on conditions following an initial appearance in federal court in Boston,” the DOJ added. The charge carries a sentence of up to 90 days in prison followed by a year of supervised release and a fine of up to $5,000.
“Everyone, especially children, has the absolute right to not be exposed to lewd conduct when they are traveling,” Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy was quoted in the DOJ press statement. “If you engage in the type of illicit behavior alleged here, you will be caught and held accountable wherever it happens.”
Mohanty is an internal medicine and primary care doctor with a practice in Boston, and is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Riverside University Health System-Medical Center. He earned his medical degree at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and has been in practice between 6 to 10 years. His Beth Israel Deaconess provider profile notes that he speaks Russian, Spanish and Thai in addition to English.
Citing the charging documents, the DOJ said Mohanty was a passenger aboard a Hawaiian Airlines Flight en route from Honolulu to Boston with a female companion on May 27, 2022. He was allegedly seated next to a 14-year-old minor traveling with her grandparents, who were seated nearby. The alleged incident for which Mohanty is charged came about 5 hours into the flight.
According to the Boston Herald, “Mohanty and the woman held hands, cuddled,” while seated on the flight. In an Aug. 16, 2022 interview with the FBI, the 14-year-old said the two asked each other “basic level” questions like “What is your favorite color?” which the girl said she found “strange,” the Herald reported. Mohanty was identified as the suspect by Hawaiian Airlines’ seat assignment records, the Herald cited the court affidavit as saying.
About half-way through the flight, the minor allegedly observed that Mohanty had covered himself with a blanket up to his neck and that Mohanty’s leg was bouncing up and down. Shortly thereafter, the minor observed that the blanket was on the floor, no longer covering Mohanty, and that he was masturbating. The minor moved herself to an empty seat in a different row for the remainder of the flight.
After arriving in Boston, the minor informed members of her family about the incident and law enforcement was notified. Mohanty was identified as the suspect by Hawaiian Airlines’ seat assignment records, the Boston Herald said, citing the court affidavit.
“What Dr. Mohanty is accused of doing in front of a fourteen-year-old girl is reprehensible,” said Christopher DiMenna, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division. “Today’s arrest should make it crystal clear that the FBI takes crimes aboard aircraft seriously, everything from sexual misconduct as alleged in this case, to assault, interfering with the flight crew, and theft. If you’ve been the victim of a crime aboard an aircraft or have witnessed one take place, we ask you to report it to both your flight crew and the FBI.”