The man's hand was 'underneath the passenger's shirt and undergarments for approximately four to five minutes, making skin-to-skin contact in the breast and upper chest area.'
When the victim woke up to find Pochampally fondling her, he quickly removed his hand and fled down the aisle of the aircraft.
According to the criminal complaint, 'multiple passengers witnessed the incident' and told attendants what had happened. It appears no one attempted to stop the alleged assault as it occurred, however.
British Airways staff confronted Pochampally upon learning of the molestation from passengers, police said.
They ordered him to move to a different seat for the remainder of the 10-hour trip and contacted law enforcement upon landing at San Francisco International airport.
Pochampally was charged with simple assault in a misdemeanor complaint filed Tuesday in San Francisco federal court. It's not clear if Pochampally is a U.S. citizen.
A spokeswoman for BA told MailOnline: 'Police officers were called to meet flight BA285 on its arrival in San Francisco after a report of an incident on board.
'Due to the Data Protection Act we do not comment on matters relating to individual customers.'
She added: 'The welfare and security of our customers is always of paramount importance.'