United States District Judge Wendy W. Berger has sentenced Brian Patrick Durning (52, Altadena, CA) to five years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for assaulting a minor on an aircraft. A federal jury had found Durning guilty on June 22, 2023.
According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, on June 23, 2022, Durning had boarded a redeye flight from Los Angeles to Orlando and was seated next to a 13-year-old girl. The child had been separated from the rest of her family, who were seated two rows away from her. After the cabin lights were dimmed and most of the passengers had fallen asleep, Durning assaulted the child. A nearby passenger awoke and observed one of Durning’s hands between the child’s legs and intervened.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Air Marshal Service, and the Orlando Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Michael P. Felicetta and Courtney Richardson-Jones.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.