Jurors find Aurora man guilty of groping woman on Vegas flight
BY KIM JANSSEN Federal Courts Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org December 13, 2012 12:25PM
Srinivasa Erramilli | Illinois sex offenders register photo
Updated: January 15, 2013 11:30AM
His latest victim angrily smacked him and called him a “pig” or a “pervert.”
Now a serial airplane groper faces up to two years behind bars after he was convicted a third time of making unwanted sexual contact with a sleeping woman during a flight.
Aurora-based software consultant Srinivasa Erramilli visibly gulped as a federal jury found him guilty Thursday of groping a fellow passenger on a June 2011 flight from Las Vegas to Chicago.
Moments later — as his tearful wife looked on from a courtroom bench — he had his head in his hands.
The 45-year-old twice tried to inappropriately touch a Chicago-area woman sleeping next to him on the Southwest Airlines flight in June 2011, evidence showed.
But by the third time Erramilli tried to cop a feel by running his hand up the woman’s inner thigh, she was awake and suspicious, though her eyes were still closed. She angrily beat him and told him “Get your hands off me!,” several witnesses testified.
The father-of-two was brazen enough to try the stunt while the victim’s husband sat beside him, evidence showed. The couple had been enjoying their 34th wedding anniversary in Vegas, but the woman wanted to sleep on the flight, so took the window seat, while her husband sat on the other side of Erravilli in the aisle seat so he could easily use the bathroom.
But confronted by his victim, Erravilli shamelessly claimed she’d “liked it.”
That’s an excuse he also tried when he was previously arrested in 2002 on a Northwest Airlines flight from San Jose. Erramilli got probation for that incident, and for a similar 1999 groping incident on a flight from Detroit.
This time a prison term is more likely. But Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer allowed the Indian national to remain free on bond until he’s sentenced in April.
The judge’s ruling was against the wishes of prosecutor Bolling W. Haxall, who in an unintentional pun described Erramilli as a “flight risk.”