A woman who fell into a deep sleep on a long-haul Emirates flight after taking medication was molested by the male stranger sitting next to her, who rubbed hand lotion all over her and into intimate parts of her body, a criminal complaint alleges.
The woman was aboard Emirates flight EK204 from Dubai to New York City, operated by one of the airline’s flagship A380s. The suspect told flight attendants the victim “enjoyed it because she did not resist,” according to a criminal complaint filed in US District Court in Brooklyn, New York.
A court document outlining the complaint has been published by The Smoking Gun, an American website which specialises in publishing court documents, affidavits, charge sheets and other examples of legal-related public information.
In the document, Detective Christopher Caruso, assigned to a New York Police Department/FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, quotes the victim saying she fell asleep about an hour into the flight after taking anti-anxiety medication. Seated next to her in row 45 was a man named Nadeem Mehmood Quraishi.
After sleeping for several hours, the woman awoke and Quraishi asked “whether she had a good nap”, the document states. At that point, the victim realised that she had been slathered in lotion. It had been “spread on her arms, chest, and up her legs”. The woman then noticed that “the hand lotion she had placed in the pocket in front of her seat was missing.”
The victim said that when walking to the bathroom “her vaginal area was sore.” She subsequently “saw that her underwear had been shifted and that lotion was in her vaginal area and on her underwear”.
On returning to her seat, the woman asked Quraishi where her hand lotion had gone. After he passed the lotion to her, she contacted cabin crew.
One flight attendant told investigators that she was notified by a supervisor that “the passenger was crying and trembling” in one of the plane’s galleys. The victim reported that she believed that “something happened to her while she fell asleep”.
The flight attendants questioned Quraishi, who they allege admitted applying lotion to the woman’s “arms, shoulders, and legs and used the lotion in her vaginal area.” Quraishi, the attendants said “thought the woman needed it, and that the sleeping passenger enjoyed it because she did not resist,” the document states.
“The defendant also told the flight attendants that he liked it and that it happened to him as a child,” Caruso said.
Quraishi was detained and questioned when the flight arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.
He admitted to “inappropriately touching the passenger, that he knew it was wrong, but he did not specify how he touched the passenger,” Caruso stated.
Arrested for the alleged in-flight sex assault, Quraishi appeared last week in US federal court charged with sexual contact without consent, New York papers reported. A magistrate set bail at USD 50,000. Quraishi was ordered to surrender his passport and not leave New York City without the permission of pre-trial service officials.
Written by Peter Needham