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She Slapped Flight Attendant, Now Faces Serious Prison Time

Australia's Adau Mornyang, 24, could get 21 years after being convicted of assault
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 22, 2019 10:33 AM CDT
File photo of a United Airlines jet.   (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

(Newser) – A 24-year-old Australian woman's flight from Melbourne to Los Angeles earlier this year might end up wrecking her life. Adau Akui Atem Mornyang could get up to 21 years in prison after being convicted of assaulting a flight attendant on her United Airlines flight in January, reports the Australian. During the flight, an apparently intoxicated Mornyang began shouting racial slurs, flailing her arms, and generally disturbing other passengers, then slapped a male flight attendant across the face when he tried to intervene, says the US Justice Department in a news release.

Air marshals aboard the flight restrained Mornyang in the rear of the plane until it landed. A jury in LA found her guilty of interference with a flight crew and misdemeanor assault. A court affidavit says she responded to being restrained by saying she was a "strong black woman" who was being singled out for abuse. Crew members had served her two glasses of wine and later found an empty wine bottle by her seat. Mornyang, a native of South Sudan who works as a model, made headlines two years ago when she spoke publicly about being raped, reports NBC News. She became known as an advocate for rape victims, particularly in her native country. (Read more air travel stories.)

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