- The felon from Minnesota knowingly engaged in abusive sexual contact with a 16-year-old victim who was seated next to him aboard a 2019 Jet Blue flight from Boston to Minneapolis in 2019.
An Indian American man has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for molesting a teenage boy sitting next to him on a flight. According to court documents, Neeraj Chopra, 41, of Minneapolis, Minnesota knowingly engaged in abusive sexual contact with a 16-year-old victim who was seated next to him aboard a Jet Blue flight from Boston to Minneapolis on April 8, 2019.
A few months later, he was convicted by a federal jury convicted on one count of abusive sexual contact after a three-day trial, the DOJ said in a press release.
During the three-day trial, Chopra said he touched the boy’s inner thigh, groin and genitals “unintentionally” while having a “bad dream” on the flight, the Charlotte Observer reported.
During the flight, Chopra retrieved a blanket from his backpack and draped it over his lap, with a portion of the blanket also covering the victim’s right leg. Chopra put his hand under the blanket and began inappropriately touching the teen, the DOJ press release says.
The Indian American ignored the victim’s multiple requests to stop and continued to inappropriately touch the victim. At one point, the boy got the attention of his brother seated in front of him and told him what happened, says the DOJ press release.
According to the Star Tribune, the FBI interviewed Chopra after the plane landed. He admitted that he “touched [the teen] inappropriately,” during the flight, the report said, citing a court document filed by the prosecution. He also admitted that the touching happened more than once, though he claimed it was accidental, the report added.