An Australian model who was jailed in America after a mid-air meltdown on a flight from Melbourne to LA says she was ‘innappropriately touched’ by an air marshal and it triggered the memory of her rape.
Adau Mornyang, 26, boarded the United Airlines on January 21 last year, with a visa not set to expire until December 2021.
The South Sudanese-born model told The Herald Sun she was ‘exhausted’ after a heavy working week and took an antidepressant, Prozac, and pain medication, Oxycodone, before take off.
Pictured: Australian-South Sudanese model Adau Mornyang arrives at the Federal Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles on Monday, July 15, 2019
Mornyang, who was jailed in America after a mid-air meltdown on a flight from Melbourne to LA, says she was ‘innappropriately touched’ by an air marshal and it triggered the memory of her rape
Mornyang said she had two wines and slept for about eight hours. When she woke, she was being arrested by air marshals.
‘I was so confused. What happened? What did I do? From what I heard in court, I kept blacking out. I was in and out, my mouth was foaming. I was in a frightful panic,’ she said.
Prosecutors described how Mornyang ordered several glasses of wine on the flight, but was cut off when her behaviour deteriorated.
She slapped a flight attendant, struck other passengers as she walked down the plane’s aisles, yelled vile racial taunts at a black air marshal who tried to restrain her and called another flight attendant ‘dumb white trash’.
Audio recordings of her ranting were played to jurors.
Judge Cormac Carney described it as ‘a nightmare flight’ but opted against a prison sentence after considering her troubled life as a child refugee from Sudan and being the victim of sexual assault aged 17 in Adelaide.
Adau Mornyang, 26, boarded the United Airlines on January 21 last year, with a visa not set to expire until December 2021
The model, who immigrated to Sydney with her family in 2004, ran away from home at 16 and was living with her cousin in Adelaide when she was raped, aged 17
She was sentenced to 100 hours of community service and three years probation.
While arrested mid-air, Mornyang said the air marshals followed her to the bathroom and one of them used their foot to block the door from shutting properly.
She said one of the officers became frustated when Mornyang took her time in the toilet.
Pictured: Adau Mornyang
‘He got angry and dragged me off the toilet seat with my pants down. He pinned me down, with his knee on my back. I couldn’t breathe. The more I pleaded with him, the more pressure he applied on my back,’ she said.
Mornyang screamed ‘I don’t consent’ when the air marshal allegedly touched her private parts.
‘When he pinned me down, and touched me inappropriately, that triggered me. It triggered my rape,’ she said.
The model, who immigrated to Sydney with her family in 2004, ran away from home at 16 and was living with her cousin in Adelaide when she was raped, aged 17.
Mornyang said she asked the female flight attendants for help but claimed they just stared at her with looks of disapproval.
It was then Mornyang alleges she became verbally abusive to the airline staff as she was in ’emotional distress’.
The model was kept in prison until she was convicted in March last year. After her trial, Mornyang went to New York to resume her life.
On September 17 – while reporting to her parole officer – she was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers who had revoked her visa without notice.
She was taken to Bergen County Jail in New Jersey and on December 21 Mornyang was deported back to Australia.