A man is facing simple assault charges after a criminal complaint filed Tuesday in San Francisco federal court alleged he fondled the breasts of a sleeping woman aboard a British Airways flight last week.

Vinay Pochampally was a passenger on San Francisco-bound British Airways Flight 285 from London, when about two hours into the flight he positioned himself in the space between plane’s restroom and Row 37, where the victim was sitting in and sleeping, according to the complaint. That’s when Pochampally allegedly put his hand down the shirt of the passenger and had his hand underneath her shirt and underwear “for approximately four to five minutes, making skin-to-skin contact in the breast and upper chest area of the passenger, before she awoke,” the complaint continued.

The passenger woke up, allegedly to find Pochampally’s hand inside her shirt and touching her breast. Pochampally then “quickly removed his hand and ran away down the aisle. Multiple passengers witnessed the incident and notified the British Airways flight crew of what had just occurred,” according to the complaint.

The flight crew confronted Pochampally and found that he was intoxicated, the suit said. The crew ordered him to move to another seat, where he remained for the remainder of the flight.

The criminal complaint charged Pochampally with simple assault. He faces up to six months in prison if convicted, along with a $5,000 fine and five years’ probation.

Read the full complaint below:


  Vinay Pochampally