An Indian man was produced before a court in New Jersey, United States, on Thursday on charges of abusive sexual assault after he groped a woman on an Air India flight from Mumbai to Newark.

The prosecutor told the Newark court that Ganesh Parkar, 40, had chosen to sit next to the woman in the economy section of the flight even though he had a business class seat. The woman, who had fallen asleep, woke up to discover that her blanket had been pulled off her body. She then wrapped the blanket around herself and went back to sleep, only to be woken up later to find the accused’s hand inside her shirt.

The incident caught the attention of the flight attendants after the woman yelled, “What the hell are you doing?” They immediately asked Parkar to move back to his assigned seat.

Parkar reportedly asked the crew members to let him speak to the woman, but his requests were declined. He then wrote her two notes saying he had been “stupid” and apologised for the “moment’s stupidity”. He was released on bail after he furnished a bond of $50,000 (approximately Rs 33.9 lakh) and has been put under house arrest, reported Reuters.

The man’s lawyer said that his client “asserts his innocence”. If found guilty, he could face a prison term of up to two years, reported AP. Parkar is a resident of Robbinsville, New Jersey.