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Former LAX officer to be sentenced for sexually assaulting passenger

A former Los Angeles International Airport police officer who was convicted of sexually assaulting a female passenger while on duty is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday.

On Nov. 18, a jury found Michael Wayne Staunton, 56, guilty of sexual battery by restraint, false imprisonment by fraud and assault by a peace officer, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

Prosecutors said the assault occurred at LAX in April 2011 when Staunton was at a podium inside the security screening area for departures. After a 25-year-old woman sat down nearby with a friend, Staunton approached her and made a sexual comment, the district attorney's office said.

Staunton later returned and motioned for the woman to follow him, using his security access card to take her to a storage area where he sexually assaulted her, prosecutors said.

Staunton faces a sentence of four years in state prison in the case.

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ari.bloomekatz@latimes.com

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