Ryan Manuella, 28, of Erie County “moved to a vacant center seat next to a female passenger, who was sitting in a window seat” late last week, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig said Monday.
Honig said Manuella, who didn't know the woman, then “touched her on the groin and inner thigh without her permission,” Honig said.
Manuella was charged in Nevada last year with a domestic violence assault, record show.
The Cheektowaga resident also got into a struggle in 2017 with a private security guard who later died of a heart attack during at a event in Lancaster, NY, authorities said.
Police determined that the attack wasn’t related to the scuffle and charged Manuella with harassment, records show.
Following a videoconference Monday, a U.S. District Court judge in Newark ordered Manuella detained on charges of abusive sexual contact on an airplane.
Honig credited special agents of the FBI and Port Authority police with the investigation and arrest.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Hayden M. Brockett of her Health Care Fraud Unit in Newark is handing the case, she said.
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