Fayetteville man sentenced for groping 17-year-old girl on flight to RDU

NEW BERN, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Fayetteville man was sentenced Tuesday to 10 months in prison, five years of supervised release, and a $2,000 fine for sexual contact without consent while on an airplane flying into Raleigh-Durham International Airport. He will also have to register as a sex offender

According to court documents and other information presented in court, Ryan Eugene Larned, 38, flew on an American Airlines flight from Charlotte-Douglas International Airport to RDU where he was seated next to a 17-year-old girl who was flying alone.

The girl was in the window seat while Larned was in the middle seat. Without speaking to her and without consent, Larned used his jacket as a cover and reached his hands inside the teen's pants, according to the Department of Justice.

The girl immediately reported the assault.

"Safe air travel is essential to our economy and keeping families connected," said Michael Easley, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina. "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."

Larned pled guilty to the charge pursuant to a plea agreement last July.
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