Serial groper gets 9 months in jail for fondling woman on plane
By KIM JANSSEN Federal Courts Reporter September 11, 2013 4:02PM
Srinivasa S. Erramilli / photo from Illinois Sex Offender Registry
Updated: October 15, 2013 6:40AM
He may be America’s creepiest airplane passenger.
But serial groper Srinivasa Erramilli won’t be able to fondle any sleeping women anytime soon — he’s headed to jail.
The 45-year-old Aurora software consultant can count himself lucky.
If his latest victim, 65-year-old southwest suburban grandmother Susan Domino, had been in charge of sentencing him Wednesday afternoon, he’d have faced a far harsher punishment.
“I would have chopped his hands off!” the feisty Domino told reporters after the three-times convicted airplane pervert was jailed for nine months and fined $5,000 by Judge Joan Lefkow.
Domino’s bravery in “standing up for herself and other women” after Erramilli sneakily massaged her inner thigh on a Southwest Airlines flight was praised by the judge, who said Erramilli had violated the “fundamental human rights” of Domino and two other women he was previously convicted of inappropriately touching on airplanes in 1999 and 2002.
In his most recent sex attack, the married dad-of-two targeted Domino as she flew back from an anniversary celebration in Las Vegas with her husband in June 2011.
He twice tried to touch her as she slept next to him — then, unaware that she was awake and suspicious, tried to run his hand up her inner thigh.
She angrily beat him and told him, “Get your hands off me!,” calling him a “pervert” or a “pig,” several witnesses testified at a trial in December.
Erramilli was even brazen enough to try the stunt while the victim’s husband sat beside him, then to tell her she had “liked it,” evidence showed.
At Wednesday’s hearing, defense attorney Ed Genson urged Lefkow to spare Erramilli from a lengthy jail term, arguing that Erramilli has been publicly humiliated and likely faces deportation to India.
He said Erramilli was “a good father . . . a good husband . . . . and a devout Hindu” who needed treatment.
But prosecutor Bolling Haxall said Erramilli hasn’t accepted his guilt, urging Lefkow to impose a sentence that encourages victims in similar cases to come forward. “We’re here because he refuses to keep his hands to himself,” Haxall said.
Lefkow agreed that Erramilli’s history shows he hasn’t faced up to “some compulsion that you cannot control.”
Erramilli, who declined to speak at the hearing, dabbed his eye as the judge told him he would be locked up.
He’s banned from flying for a year after he gets out.