ATLANTA (Reuters) - A judge sentenced a suburban Atlanta man to six months in federal prison on Tuesday for fondling a sleeping woman on a Delta Air Lines flight from Dallas to Atlanta last year.
Authorities said a 20-year-old woman seated next to Ranchhodbhai Lakha, 61, woke up to find him touching her below the waist during a September 28, 2010 flight.
Lakha touched her again after she objected, prompting her to get up and report the assault to a flight attendant, according to prosecutors. Lakha pleaded guilty to a charge of abusive sexual contact.
"This defendant thought he could get away with taking advantage of a defenseless, sleeping passenger sitting next to him," U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia Sally Yates said in a statement. "He was wrong."
The federal judge ordered the Alpharetta, Georgia man to serve a year of supervised release after he is out of prison. Lakha will have to pay a $5,000 fine and must register as a sex offender, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
(Reporting by David Beasley; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Greg McCune)