By Brian Sumers
A former Los Angeles International Airport police officer convicted in November of sexually assaulting a passenger while he was on duty at a security checkpoint was sentenced Thursday to four years in state prison.
Michael Wayne Staunton, 56, also must register as a sex offender for life. A Los Angeles Superior Court jury found him guilty of sexual battery by restraint, assault by a peace officer and false imprisonment by fraud.
Prosecutors said Staunton, a member of the Los Angeles World Airports police force, was stationed at a security checkpoint at an LAX terminal on April 12, 2011, when he assaulted a 25-year-old woman.
According to prosecutors, Staunton — assigned to the Terminal 1 checkpoint — found the woman sitting on a nearby bench waiting for a friend. He then approached the woman and made a comment of a sexual nature before asking her to follow him.
Prosecutors said Staunton used a security card to bring the woman into a storage area and then sexually assaulted her. When he was finished, according to the District Attorney’s Office, he led the woman back to the gate area.
The woman told her friends about the incident and then made a report to a different law enforcement agency — the Los Angeles Police Department.
Los Angeles World Airports police patrol LAX, as well as L.A./Ontario International Airport and Van Nuys Airport.
Sgt. Belinda Nettles of Airport Police said Staunton is no longer part of the force but she had no further comment.
Friday, January 10, 2014
CA - Former LAX police officer (Michael Wayne Staunton) convicted of on-duty sexual assault sentenced to 4 years in prison