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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Nebraska

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 6, 2022

Indiana Man Sentenced for Sexual Offense Onboard Commercial Aircraft

United States Attorney Jan Sharp announced that Ian Wagner, 39, formerly of New Haven, Indiana, was sentenced today in Lincoln, Nebraska, by United States District Judge John M. Gerrard for abusive sexual contact of an incapacitated person. Wagner was sentenced to 1 year and 6 months in prison and 6 years of supervised release with special conditions. Wagner was additionally ordered to pay $500 in restitution to the victim.  There is no parole in the federal system.

On October 6, 2017, Wagner was on board a domestic flight from Indianapolis, Indiana to Denver, Colorado.  Wagner was seated next to an 18-year-old woman.  During the flight, the woman fell asleep and later awoke to Wagner rubbing her inner thigh with his hand.  At some point a while later, the victim took a photograph of Wagner.  The geolocation data associated with the photograph indicated that the plane was flying over Hastings, Nebraska.

The victim then left her seat, sought refuge in the airplane’s lavatory, but eventually returned because she believed the flight was full and no other seats would be available.  After retaking her seat, she observed that Wagner had placed a jacket over his lap and his hand appeared to be moving up and down under the jacket.  Wagner made eye contact with the victim and lifted his jacket to reveal his exposed penis.  For over five minutes, Wagner masturbated while staring at the victim.  Frightened and troubled by the incident, the victim lodged a complaint with the airline two days later and with criminal authorities in the following weeks.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Updated January 7, 2022