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Ex-LAX police officer gets prison for sexually assaulting passenger

Crime, Law and JusticeCrimeSexual AssaultLos Angeles International AirportCourts and the Judiciary

A former Los Angeles International Airport police officer was sentenced Thursday to four years in prison for sexually assaulting a passenger while on duty.

Michael Wayne Staunton, 56, was also ordered by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Paul Suzuki to register as a sex offender.

Staunton was found guilty in November 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.

Staunton was inside the security screening area for departures at LAX in April 2011 when the assault occurred, prosecutors said.

After the victim, a 25-year-old woman, sat down nearby with a friend, Staunton approached her and made a sexual comment. He later returned and motioned for the woman to follow him, then used his security access card to take her to a storage area where he sexually assaulted her, prosecutors said.

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