United Airlines passenger facing up to 21 years for drunkenly assaulting flight attendant

An Australian woman was found guilty on assault charges for slapping and yelling at a United Airlines crew member while on an international flight from Melbourne to Los Angeles International Airport on January 21 of this year.

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Adau Akui Atem Mornyang, 24, of Victoria, Australia was charged with felony interference with flight crew and one count of misdemeanor assault after becoming intoxicated while on the flight and verbally and physically abusing at least one crew member and other passengers, the United States Department of Justice reported in a press release.

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According to evidence shared at trial, Mornyang became disruptive several hours into the 14-hour flight, and began to flail her arms and yell obscenities including racial slurs. When approached by a flight attendant, Mornyang reportedly slapped him across his face while continuing to yell.

Mornyang was restrained by federal air marshals on board, who stayed with the woman in the rear galley of the plane until it landed safely at LAX.

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The woman’s sentencing is scheduled for June 24. She faces a maximum sentence of 21 years in federal prison based on the charges.