N.Y. man charged with sexually abusing woman on flight home from Israel

Marcy Oster

(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 A. Dickson ordered Oberlander, who is a registered sex offender, detained after the indictment.

According to the indictment, Oberlander was seated next to a woman and her mother on the flight. During the course of the flight he touched the woman, who was not named, inappropriately and without her consent several times.

The alleged incident took place on May 29, aboard an El Al flight from Tel Aviv to Newark.

Oberlander reportedly was convicted in 2002 in New York for sexually assaulting an eleven-year-old girl. In 2012, he was charged with trespassing at an upstate New York Jewish camp. The charge came after prosecutors determined that there was “no allegation of sexual abuse” at the camp near South Fallsburg, New York.

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

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