Babak Rezapour, 42, of Van Nuys, was convicted Wednesday of abusive sexual contact in a special aircraft jurisdiction and abusive sexual contact with an incapacitated victim.
The jury deliberated for more than two hours following a five-day jury trial in which Rezapour denied the allegations. He faces up to five years in prison when he is sentenced on April 24.
Babak Rezapour, 42, has been convicted of repeatedly sexually assaulting a 22-year-old woman on a Norwegian Air flight from London to Seattle in 2018 (stock image)
The charges allege Rezapour repeatedly assaulted the 22-year-old woman on the 10-hour flight on January 10, 2018.
The female passenger had taken prescribed anti-anxiety and anti-nausea medicine and drank two glasses of wine, including one purchased for her by Rezapour, court documents said.
Afterward, she ‘described feeling hazy and had difficulty remaining awake.’
According to court records and testimony presented at trial, the victim repeatedly awoke up to find Rezapour groping her under her bra, rubbing her thighs and feet, touching her genitals or placing her hand on his exposed penis.
The man used his jacket to shield what he was doing from other passengers.
The complaint states that a Norwegian Air crew member later found the woman ‘visibly shaken and crying’ while crouched near the restrooms. The woman told the crew member what happened, and she was moved to the front of the plane, documents said.
One crew member questioned Rezapour, who asked if he could apologize to his seatmate. When asked why he would need to apologize, he said he might have accidentally kicked her, the complaint said.
Police met the plane upon landing; Rezapour denied that he had touched the woman but witnesses said otherwise. Lab tests later showed that his DNA was inside the woman’s underwear, according to the court records.
Passengers who testified at trial described seeing Rezapour move into the seat next to the victim, contradicting his statements to police that he had stayed in his aisle seat with an open seat between them.
In multiple statements to different investigators following the incident, Rezapour change his story.