Man who groped nurse during flight sentenced to 21 months in federal prison

ATLANTA — A Missouri man who groped a nurse on a flight from St. Louis to Atlanta in 2021 has been sentenced to 21 months in federal prison.

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Scott Russell Granden, 36, was sentenced Wednesday in federal court. In addition to the prison sentence, Granden will also be required to register as a sex offender, according to the Department of Justice news release.

“Passengers have the right to fly in peace and to expect that their personal dignity will be respected,” U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine said.

On the March 25, 2021 Southwest flight, Granden was in the middle seat and proceeded to grope the victim’s thigh, groin and buttocks. Granden also attempted to kiss the victim, identified by the initials R.A.K. in court documents. The victim is an emergency room nurse.

Granden’s bad behavior didn’t stop there. In body camera video obtained by WSB, Granden is seen being verbally abusive to arresting officers, using racial and sexual slurs.

Philip Wislar, acting special agent in charge of FBI Atlanta, told WSB that reports of sexual assaults on planes are increasing, and the public needs to know that these crimes are federal crimes with severe consequences.