After being accused of sexually assaulting two female passengers aboard a flight from Los Angeles to Boston Logan airport on Monday night, a JetBlue passenger faces the threat of spending three years in jail and a $250,000 fine.
One of the victims, a mother of two, was holding her infant when she felt the man seated next to her caress her upper thigh before “reaching deeper” into her groin.
The victim yelled, “This man just touched me,” as she pressed the flight attendant call button and pointed to the culprit, Jairaj Singh Dhillon, 42, of Modesto, California, according to Massachusetts State Police.
The assault happened just 30 minutes into the five-hour flight, yet JetBlue flight 988, which took off from Los Angeles about 9:20 p.m. on Monday, made it all the way to Boston Logan, where it arrived at 5:20 a.m. before Dhillon was apprehended.
After being assaulted, the first victim quickly shouted over to her husband, who was seated on the other side of the aisle, according to an FBI affidavit. Because their infant was traveling in a car seat that had to be strapped to a window seat, the couple had been separated.
The victim’s husband got up from his seat to go get a flight attendant, but in the process, he pushed the second victim out of her seat.
Because she was wearing noise-canceling headphones, the second victim saw a disturbance but was unaware of what the first victim had yelled. She was temporarily standing in the aisle waiting for the flight attendant when Dhillon allegedly grabbed her “groin and buttocks” with both hands.
Dhillon was moved to a seat towards the front of the plane with an unoccupied seat next to it by flight attendants, who also arranged for law authorities to meet the plane when it arrived in Boston.
Dhillon willingly waived his Miranda rights and informed investigators that shortly after takeoff, he took an Ambien sleeping medication and was sleeping when the alleged assault occurred.
Dhillon claimed that any interaction with either victim must have been unintentional, claiming that he would not have assaulted the first victim since he was not attracted to her.
Dhillon has been charged with abusive sexual contact while in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States which carries a maximum possible sentence of three years imprisonment, plus a $250,000 fine and one year of supervised release.