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Press Release

Jury Convicts California Man For Assaulting Child On Aircraft

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Orlando, Florida –United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that a federal jury today found Brian Patrick Durning (52, Altadena, CA) guilty of assault of a minor on an aircraft and two counts of simple assault. Durning faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison on the first offense, and up to two years in prison on the second offense. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for September 26, 2023. Durning had been indicted on July 6, 2022.

According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, Durning boarded a redeye flight from Los Angeles to Orlando and was seated next to a 13-year-old girl. The child had been separated from the rest of her family, who were seated two rows away from her. After the cabin lights were dimmed and most of the passengers fell asleep, Durning assaulted the child. A nearby passenger awoke and observed one of Durning’s hands between the child’s legs and intervened.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Air Marshals, and the Orlando Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael P. Felicetta and Courtney Richardson-Jones.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

Updated June 23, 2023

Project Safe Childhood