Australian model Adau Mornyang is facing jailtime over an alleged assault of a US flight attendant
Australian model Adau Mornyang is facing jailtime over an alleged assault of a US flight attendant

Aussie model faces 21 years jail for flight rampage

Exclusive: A prominent model and Miss Australia finalist faces a possible 21 years in an American jail after drunkenly attacking an attendant on a flight from Melbourne to Los Angeles.

Adau Mornyang, 24, will be sentenced in June over the assault on the January flight, which a US air marshal described as "the most severe he has encountered in his ten years" on the job.

New York-based Mornyang, who is from Victoria, was accused of slapping a steward in the face and kicking an air marshal in the chest after she was refused alcohol service aboard United Flight 99 on January 21.

Adau Moryang tells of culture among Sudanese men after being raped at age 17

Adau Mornyang has been found guilty.
Adau Mornyang has been found guilty.

She was found guilty after a trial in Los Angeles federal court of assault and interference with a flight attendant, but acquitted of assaulting the marshal.

Mornyang last night denied she had attacked anyone and described the episode as "an ordeal" that she did not remember after having mixed prescription drugs with alcohol to sleep during the flight.

Adau Mornyang says she has no memory of the alleged incident.
Adau Mornyang says she has no memory of the alleged incident.

"Even though passengers on that flight and other flight attendants said there was never a slap, the evidence was ignored and they decided to believe (the flight attendant)," she said in a text message.

"All I remember was waking up after sleeping for eight hours."

The court heard other passengers complained when Mornyang started "yelling obscenities and racial slurs and flailing her arms" about nine hours into the flight.

MORE TRUE CRIME

Brownie saves skilled teen from a serial killer

Husband killer's bizarre letter to his family

Adau Mornyang posted this Instagram shot from her LA hotel room a few days ago.
Adau Mornyang posted this Instagram shot from her LA hotel room a few days ago.

Attendants said they cut her off after serving her five or six glasses of wine and spotting an empty bottle near where she was sitting in the middle of the plane. Mornyang disputes this and says she drank two glasses of wine and took prescription drugs before going to sleep.

The court heard attendants tried to move her to the back and Mornyang fought back, at one point stripping off some of her clothes.

Mornyang said: "I was so confused and begging and pleading for them to tell me what I did. I was ignored, I was in and out of consciousness, and was later locked up in federal prison still with no memory of what I was arrested for. This whole alleged slapping is a big shock to me and I cry every night wondering why I have no memory of it. How I could of done it while asleep."

Melbourne model Adau Mornyang has previously shot a global campaign for Sephora. Picture: David Caird
Melbourne model Adau Mornyang has previously shot a global campaign for Sephora. Picture: David Caird

The Sudanese-born model has enjoyed significant modelling success since moving to Australia as a refugee at the age of 10, including serving as a global campaign face for Sephora in 2016, a Miss World Victorian finalist in 2017 and Miss World Australia finalist and recently walked the runway at New York Fashion Week.

She said the incident had ruined her career.

"I boarded that flight on January 21st for what I thought was a life-changing opportunity," she told News Corp Australia.

"I had just been offered a modelling contract for three years and I was so excited. I couldn't believe that it was finally happening.

"Just to wake up and be thrown into prison. I've never laid my hands on another human being. I don't believe violence as someone who's always been on the receiving end of it. I would rather hurt myself than another human being.

"This was a now or never modelling opportunity and I would not have done anything to ruin it."

Adau Mornyang allegedly hit other passengers during the incident.
Adau Mornyang allegedly hit other passengers during the incident.

Court papers stated Mornyang repeatedly tussled with airline staff and marshals who tried to calm her down.

"Approximately one hour after Mornyang drank her last glass of wine and approximately nine hours after takeoff, two passengers approached the rear galley to report that a passenger was acting out in her seat," the papers said.

"The passenger was talking to herself, screaming profanities, and waving her arms around in her seat."

The attendant "asked Mornyang if there was anything he could help with and explained that she needed to quiet down because other passengers were complaining about her yelling".

"Mornyang said that she did not care and that she is a strong black woman," the affidavit said.

She then accused the attendant of being racist "because he was not talking to any of the white passengers".

 

 

Adau Mornyang has enjoyed significant modelling success since moving to Australia as a refugee at the age of 10.
Adau Mornyang has enjoyed significant modelling success since moving to Australia as a refugee at the age of 10.

 

The attendant left Mornyang at the back of the plane and headed to the front of the cabin, trying to get help from the captain and a purser on board.

He said that when he returned to the back of the plane she was yelling and waving her arms "as she stumbled backwards toward the cockpit.

Mornyang hit several passengers seated in aisle seats as she walked backwards", yelling and swearing.

After about 20 minutes of yelling, she started taking off her clothes and throwing them at the attendant and refusing to sit down.

When he tried to restrain her, the young woman slapped him, after which he "used both of his arms to pin Mornyang's arms to her sides and clasped his hands behind her back to prevent her from moving her arms".

The model will appear in court again in June for sentencing.
The model will appear in court again in June for sentencing.

Two air marshals aboard the plane then approached and handcuffed Mornyang in a jump seat in the rear galley. After an hour there she asked to use the bathroom, staying inside for 40 minutes and yelling more abuse.

"Her behaviour was erratic. At times she was belligerent, and at times she appeared to be dozing off while in the bathroom," the papers stated.

"As Mornyang left the bathroom, her body went limp and she dropped to the floor."

When the marshals tried to catch her, Mornyang fought them again.

She was detained on landing in LA where one of the marshals said "her disruptive behaviour was the most severe he has encountered in his ten years" as a flight marshal, the papers said.

Mornyang denied the charges but a jury trial which concluded earlier this month found her guilty of a felony charge of interference with a flight crew and a misdemeanour assault count.

Her passport has been handed to US authorities and she will appear in court again in June for sentencing.



Six-month wait to get help for alcohol, drug addiction

premium_icon Six-month wait to get help for alcohol, drug addiction

People are being turned away despite making big decision

New health service to 'shake up the system'

premium_icon New health service to 'shake up the system'

NCC community consolations will continue

Students tackle engineering challenges

premium_icon Students tackle engineering challenges

The SCU program inspiring young minds