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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Central District of California

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Australian Woman Convicted at Trial of Assault and Interference with Crew on Flight That Landed at Los Angeles International Airport

          LOS ANGELES – An Australian woman who assaulted a flight attendant during a United Airlines flight from Melbourne to Los Angeles International Airport earlier this year has been found guilty of federal charges.

          Adau Akui Atem Mornyang, 24, of Victoria, Australia, was convicted on Thursday in relation to a January 21 incident in which she appeared to be intoxicated and was verbally and physically abusive to personnel and other passengers during the flight. The jury found Mornyang guilty of a felony charge of interference with a flight crew and a misdemeanor assault count.

          According to the evidence presented at trial, several hours into the flight, passengers approached a flight attendant to complain about Mornyang’s disruptive behavior, which included flailing her arms and yelling obscenities and racial slurs. When the flight attendant approached to assess the situation, Mornyang began to shout at the flight attendant and then slapped him across his face. The flight attendant attempted to restrain Mornyang until federal air marshals could assist. The federal air marshals were forced to stay with Mornyang in the rear galley of the plane for the remainder of the flight. 

          Mornyang is scheduled to be sentenced on June 24 by United States District Judge Cormac J. Carney. As a result of the guilty verdicts returned on March 14, Mornyang faces a statutory maximum sentence of 21 years in federal prison.

          This case was investigated by the FBI, which received assistance from the Federal Air Marshals and the Los Angeles Airport Police Department.

          The case against Mornyang is being prosecuted Assistant United States Attorneys MiRi Song and Kevin Reidy of the General Crimes Section.

Thom Mrozek Spokesperson/Public Affairs Officer United States Attorney’s Office Central District of California (Los Angeles) (213) 894-6947
Press Release Number: 
Updated March 19, 2019