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Press Release

Fayetteville Man Sentenced for Sexual Assault Aboard Flight

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of North Carolina

NEW BERN, N.C. – A Fayetteville man was sentenced yesterday to 10 months in prison, 5 years’ supervised release, and a $2,000 fine for sexual contact without consent while on an airplane flying into RDU airport.  Ryan Eugene Larned will also have to register as a sex offender.  On July 26, 2021, Larned pled guilty to the charge pursuant to a plea agreement.

“Safe air travel is essential to our economy and keeping families connected,” said Michael Easley. “This defendant assaulted a young woman traveling alone, and now he will be spending time behind bars and will be identified as a sex offender in the community. No passenger, flight crew, or flight attendant should have to fly in fear. My office will continue to prosecute crimes that jeopardize the safety of the flying public.”

According to court documents and other information presented in court, Larned, 38, flew on an American Airlines flight from Charlotte-Douglas International Airport to Raleigh-Durham International Airport where he was seated next to a 17-year-old girl who was flying alone.  The female, a high school junior, was in the window seat while Larned was in the middle seat.  Without engaging in conversation and without consent, the 6’2’’ 220 pound man proceeded to touch the groin area of the 5’1’’ 100 pound female.  He placed his jacket over them and reached his hands inside the pants of the female.  The victim immediately reported the assault. 

Michael F. Easley, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Louise W. Flanagan. FBI Special Agent Craig Noyes investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Brad DeVoe prosecuted the case.

Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 5:21-CR-141.


Updated May 11, 2022

Violent Crime