‘This cannot really be happening’: Doctor allegedly sexually assaults teenager midair during United flight

New Jersey police have arrested an airline passenger and accused him of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl in the middle of a flight, as reported by ABC News.

Vijakumar Krishnappa, 28, is alleged to have groped the teenager several times as she slept, according to a criminal complaint filed against him in federal court in New Jersey. The assault allegedly occurred during a flight from Seattle to Newark.

The teenager, who remains anonymous, was traveling alone and Krishnappa happened to be sitting next to her. She described the disgusting incident to CBS Miami.

“I could feel his hand on my thigh, and one of his hands had like, came between my legs and he was rubbing me between my legs,” she said. “Then he tried to put his other hand underneath my pants, and then I kind of woke up and I was like, what are you doing?”

“I knew what was going on but like, I just thought I was dreaming or something, like, this cannot really be happening.”

The girl was eventually allowed to change seats but her mother says that United was extremely unhelpful when she called them to complain.

“At that point the supervisor told me that United did not follow their own protocols. She said, you were the first person telling me of your daughter’s assault. I don’t have a manifest. I don’t have a report. I don’t even know who he is or where he is,” she said, noting that the alleged assaulter simply walked off of the flight.

“She was horrified,” her attorney, Johnny McCray, told ABC News. “It’s affected her ability to sleep and concentrate.”

Later that day, the FBI, along with local police, apprehended Krishnappa and arrested him.

The 28-year-old’s lawyer says his client “adamantly denies the charges and deserves to be considered an innocent man.”

Krishnappa, a visiting doctor on a fellowship, is currently out on bail. If convicted he could face up to two years in prison and possible deportation.

[Featured Image: Wikimedia Commons]