New York Man Receives Two-Year Sentence for Mid-Flight Assault
The conviction stems from a 2021 incident where a female passenger was assaulted aboard a flight to Newark Liberty International Airport.
In a notable case of in-flight misconduct, Ryan Manuella, a 30-year-old from Cheektowaga, New York, has been sentenced to 24 months in prison. This sentence, announced by U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger, comes after Manuella's guilty plea for assaulting a female passenger on a flight bound for Newark Liberty International Airport.
On April 16, 2021, during a flight from Denver to Newark, Manuella moved to an empty seat next to a female passenger and inappropriately touched her without consent. The victim reacted by yelling and leaving the row of seats.
Ryan Manuella faced charges in Newark federal court, where he pleaded guilty to assault with the intent to commit another felony, namely stalking, while on an airplane. U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton presided over the case.
On November 16, 2023, Judge Wigenton ordered a 24-month prison term for Manuella, along with a subsequent three-year period of supervised release. Notably, Manuella was detained without bond leading up to the sentencing.
The successful resolution of this case was credited to the coordinated efforts of the FBI, led by Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy, and the Port Authority Police Department.
The prosecution was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys DeNae M. Thomas and Katherine M. Romano, part of the Health Care Fraud Unit in Newark.