Crime Watch 8

Man sentenced to 1½ years for sexual abuse of woman on flight out of IND airport

A view of Civic Plaza at Indianapolis International Airport in 2021. (WISH Photo, File)

LINCOLN, Neb. (WIBC) — A man who federal authorities say sexually abused a woman on a flight out of Indianapolis International Airport has been sentenced to prison.

On Thursday, a federal judge in Lincoln, Neb., sentenced 39-year-old Ian Wagner for abusive sexual contact of an incapacitated person.

Wagner, formerly of New Haven, Ind., was ordered to serve 1½ years in prison, spend six years on probation, and pay the victim $500 in restitution, U.S. Attorney Jan Sharp said Thursday.

In October 2017, Wagner was on a flight between Indianapolis and Denver when he rubbed the inner thigh of a sleeping 18-year-old woman seated next to him, reports KSNB in Hastings, Neb.

The victim woke up to Wagner touching her thigh. A short time later, she took a photograph of Wagner. The photo’s geodata revealed that the plane was somewhere near Hastings, Nebraska, which is why the case was tried in that state.

The victim said she then got out of her seat and tried to hide in the lavatory. She eventually returned to her seat because she thought the flight was full and she would not be able to move to an open seat, according to federal investigators.

After sitting back down in her seat, the victim noticed that Wagner had put a jacket on his lap and his hand appeared to be moving up and down beneath it. The victim said Wagner made eye contact with her and then lifted up the jacket to expose his penis.

Wagner proceeded to masturbate for over five minutes while staring at the victim, reports KSNB.

The victim later filed a complaint with the airline and the incident was investigated by the FBI.