A Massachusetts doctor was arrested on Thursday and charged with “lewd, indecent and obscene acts” after he allegedly masturbated and exposed himself to a 14-year-old girl while on a May 2022 Hawaiian Airlines flight from Honolulu to Boston.
According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Massachusetts, “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 [on Thursday] and was released on conditions following an initial appearance in federal court in Boston.”
Mohanty, a primary care physician at Boston’s Bet Israel Deaconess Medical Center, was “allegedly seated next to a 14-year-old minor traveling with her grandparents, who were seated nearby.”
“About half-way through the flight, the minor allegedly observed that Mohanty had covered himself with a blanket up to his neck and that Mohanty’s leg was bouncing up and down,” according to the charging documents. “Shortly thereafter, the minor observed that the blanket was on the floor, no longer covering Mohanty, and that Mohanty was masturbating. The minor moved herself to an empty seat in a different row for the remainder of the flight.”
Once the plane touched down in Boston, the young girl told her family about the disturbing incident and the police were called.
“Everyone, especially children, has the absolute right to not be exposed to lewd conduct when they are traveling,” said Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy. “If you engage in the type of illicit behavior alleged here, you will be caught and held accountable wherever it happens.”
“What Dr. Mohanty is accused of doing in front of a fourteen-year-old girl is reprehensible,” said Christopher DiMenna, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division. “Today’s arrest should make it crystal clear that the FBI takes crimes aboard aircraft seriously, everything from sexual misconduct as alleged in this case, to assault, interfering with the flight crew, and theft. If you’ve been the victim of a crime aboard an aircraft or have witnessed one take place, we ask you to report it to both your flight crew and the FBI.”
#BREAKING: Today, #FBI Boston special agents arrested Dr. Sudipta Mohanty for allegedly committing lewd acts within the view of a 14-year-old female seated next to him onboard a flight from Honolulu to Boston in May 2022. https://t.co/Rl3dV7ORM2 pic.twitter.com/gLTOFhXR52
— FBI Boston (@FBIBoston) August 10, 2023
“The charge of lewd, indecent and obscene acts while in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States provides for a sentence of up to 90 days in prison, up to one year of supervised release and a fine of up to $5,000,” according to the press release. “Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.”
The complaint states that, when asked by an FBI agent about the alleged incident, Mohanty replied, “I have no recollection of that,” Fox News Digital reports.
In a statement to Boston.com on Thursday, a spokesperson for the medical center said, “This individual is on leave and not currently practicing at BIDMC.”
“We are unable to comment further on personnel matters,” the hospital added.
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