Cover photo courtesy: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
A Boston-based Indian American physician was arrested and charged today for allegedly masturbating and exposing himself within the view of a 14-year-old female seated next to him onboard a flight from Honolulu to Boston in May 2022.
Dr. Sudipta Mohanty, 33, was charged by criminal complaint with one count of lewd, indecent and obscene acts while in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States. Mohanty was arrested today and was released on conditions following an initial appearance in federal court in Boston.
The alleged incident took place on May 27, 2022, aboard a Hawaiian Airlines Flight en route from Honolulu to Boston. Mohanty was reportedly seated next to a 14-year-old minor who was traveling with her grandparents on the same flight.
The charging documents indicate that halfway through the flight, the minor observed Mohanty covering himself with a blanket up to his neck while his leg was bouncing up and down. Shortly thereafter, the minor reportedly noticed that the blanket had fallen to the floor, leaving Mohanty exposed as he engaged in alleged masturbation. The minor promptly moved to a different seat for the remainder of the flight and informed her family about the incident after landing in Boston.
Acting U.S. Attorney Joshua S. Levy emphasized, “Everyone, especially children, has the absolute right to not be exposed to lewd conduct when they are traveling. If you engage in the type of illicit behavior alleged here, you will be caught and held accountable wherever it happens.”
The charge against Dr. Sudipta Mohanty carries a potential sentence of up to 90 days in prison, up to one year of supervised release, and a fine of up to $5,000. The case will be prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elianna J. Nuzum of the Major Crimes Unit. However, it’s important to note that the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.