NY man charged with sexually abusing woman on flight home from Israel


(JTA) — A New York man was charged with sexually abusing a woman on a flight from Israel to Newark, New Jersey.

Yoel Oberlander, 35, was charged Friday in federal court in Newark. U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph Dickson ordered Oberlander, a registered sex offender, detained after the indictment.

If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to two years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

According to the indictment, Oberlander touched the woman sitting next to him inappropriately during the course of the flight and without her consent several times. The woman’s mother was seated next to her daughter.

The alleged incident took place May 29 on an El Al flight from Ben Gurion International Airport in the Tel Aviv area to Newark Liberty International Airport.

Oberlander reportedly was convicted in 2002 in New York for sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl. In 2012, he was charged with trespassing at an upstate New York Jewish camp. Prosecutors determined there was “no allegation of sexual abuse” at the camp near South Fallsburg, in the Catskill Mountains.

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