Judge Sentences 70-Year-Old Woman Dubbed The ‘Serial Stowaway’ After Years Of Sneaking Past Airport Security

(Photo, Cook County Sheriff's Office)

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A 70-year-old woman who spent years evading airport security was sentenced to three years in prison Thursday for trespassing at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport in 2019.

Marilyn Hartman, nicknamed the “Serial Stowaway” due to her long history of sneaking past airport security and boarding flights without a boarding pass, plead guilty to felony counts of criminal trespassing and escaping from electronic monitoring, reported the Chicago Sun-Times.

Cook County Judge Peggy Chiampas sentenced Hartman to 18 months for trespassing and two years for the escape charge, which she will have to serve consecutively. But she was credited the amount of time she has been held in custody, approximately two years and five months, towards her sentencing, according to the outlet. (RELATED: ‘Mental Passenger On Hawaii Flight Had Been Arrested At The Airport Before Takeoff)

Hartman has been eluding airport security since 2014. The first trespassing on record occurred in February 2014 at San Francisco’s International Airport, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Hartman has allegedly been stopped by police a dozen times in four different states, the Sun-Times reported. In addition to facing a number of felony and misdemeanor charges over the years, she was ordered by Judge’s in two separate states to undergo psychiatric evaluations and was banned from multiple airports, including St. Paul International Airport in Minneapolis and O’Hare, according to the Tribune.

In 2016, Chicago Judge William B. Raines ordered her to stay away from all airports. “If you violate that, I’m going to lock you up,” Raines warned, according to the Tribune. But Hartman continued to trespass at Chicago’s Midway and O’Hare airports until March 2021 when she was arrested and held without bond.

“I’ve struggled with depression and medication management my whole life,” Hartman said Thursday, according to the Sun-Times. (RELATED: Mental health Continues To Plummet Amid Pandemic, Hits 20-Year Low, Survey Finds)

In her written statement, she said she was “happy to move on with my life,” the outlet reported. Judge Chiampas acknowledged and sympathized with Hartman’s mental health struggles, but told the defendant she hopes to never see her in her courtroom again.