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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Man Pleads Guilty to Assaulting Flight Attendant and Interfering with Flight Crew

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Miami, Florida, man pleaded guilty today to interfering with a flight crew and assaulting a flight attendant while onboard a United Airlines flight from Miami to Washington, D.C.

According to court documents, on October 4, 2022, Cherruy Loghan Sevilla, 24, was onboard United Airlines Flight 2116 flying from Miami International Airport (MIA) to Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD). About an hour into the flight, Sevilla began to exhibit disruptive and erratic behavior, including wandering around the plane, running up and down the aisle, clapping loudly near the cockpit, and yelling obscenities. Sevilla refused to remain seated and laid on the floor in the aisle of the plane, preventing a flight attendant from walking up the aisle to her jump seat to prepare for landing. Suddenly, the defendant jumped up and lunged at this flight attendant, grabbing and twisting her right breast. A passenger, another flight attendant, and an onboard law enforcement officer attempted to pull the defendant off and subdue him. The defendant resisted and, in the struggle, twisted the arm of the second flight attendant.

Sevilla faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when sentenced on April 21. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Michael H. Glasheen, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office Counterterrorism Division, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Claude M. Hilton accepted the defendant’s guilty plea.

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Stefanie Schwartz and Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Withers are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:22-cr-218.

Updated January 10, 2023