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Aust model wants US conviction tossed

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An Australian model facing a potential 21-year jail sentence in the US for assaulting a flight attendant on a plane to Los Angeles has asked a California judge to toss her conviction.

Adau Akui Atem Mornyang will be sentenced in the US District Court in Los Angeles on June 24.

Mornyang's US legal team told Judge Cormac Carney a jury convicted the model at a trial in March after prosecutors relied on "an inflammatory audio tape that purported to depict Ms Mornyang screaming racial slurs and obscenities".

"The government failed to lay any foundation for the audio tape containing racial slurs and obscenities," Mornyang's lawyers wrote in their motion for dismissal or a new trial.

"The government presented no witness who had ever heard the recording before, or who could confirm that it accurately captured the events, or even Ms Mornyang's voice."

The lawyers also argue Los Angeles was not the correct district to hold the trial.

Prosecutors rejected both arguments.

South Sudanese-born Mornyang was convicted of a felony charge of interference with a United Airlines flight crew member and misdemeanour assault.

Melbourne-based Mornyang, 24, faces a statutory maximum sentence of 21 years in US federal prison.

Prosecutors said Mornyang, during the January 21 Melbourne to LA flight, ordered "several alcoholic beverages". Flight attendants cut her off from ordering more and about an hour later, "passengers approached the flight crew to complain about defendant's behaviour, which included yelling obscenities and racial slurs and flailing her arms".

Flight attendant Romeo Gutierrez attempted to calm Mornyang down.

"Defendant did not calm down and instead escalated her aggressive behaviour and 'smacked' Mr Gutierrez," prosecutors wrote.

A federal air marshal on the flight intervened and escorted her to the back of the plane "where she was placed in handcuffs and continued to harass the people around her for the rest of the remaining five hours of the flight to Los Angeles".

Prosecutors said an audio tape played at Mornyang's trial of the model's "coarse" and "explosive" language on the flight was authenticated by a witness familiar with Mornyang's voice.

"Thus, the witness was able to attest to the accuracy of the recording, provide context for the recording, and provide additional and independent testimony regarding defendant's other later conduct and words, which he described as far worse," prosecutors wrote.

© AAP 2019