North Carolina man sentenced to prison time, supervised release and fine for sexually assaulting teen on airplane

Published 8:52 am Sunday, May 15, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

A Fayetteville man was sentenced Tuesday, May 10, 2022 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 the Raleigh-Durham International Airport; he will also have to register as a sex offender. Ryan Eugene Larned, 38, pleaded guilty to the charge on July 26, 2021 pursuant to a plea agreement, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of North Carolina.

“Safe air travel is essential to our economy and keeping families connected,” said Michael Easley, U.S. 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.”

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

Get the latest headlines sent to you

“The female, a high school junior, was in the window seat while Larned was in the middle seat,” stated the release. “Without engaging in conversation and without consent, the 6’2’’ 220-pound man proceeded to touch the groin area of the 5’1’’ 100 pound female. He placed his jacket over them and reached his hands inside the pants of the female. The victim immediately reported the assault.”

Easley made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Louise W. Flanagan. FBI Special Agent Craig Noyes investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Brad DeVoe prosecuted.