Mar 232017
 

Yoel Oberlander , a registered sex offender has admitted that he improperly touched a woman aboard a flight from Israel to the U.S. last year.

Yoel Oberlander pleaded guilty Wednesday to assault with intent to commit stalking, federal prosecutors in New Jersey say.

The 36-year-old New York man faces up to 10 years in prison when he’s sentenced June 28.

Prosecutors say the groping occurred aboard an El Al flight from Tel Aviv to Newark Liberty airport in May 2016.

The victim was sitting next to Oberlander, who admitted ‘that he touched her in the area of her chest, upper thigh, and hand without her consent, and that he did so with the intent to harass and intimidate her,’ federal prosecutors said in a Wednesday news release.

A criminal complaint from last year said that Oberlander was sitting in the window seat during the flight, with the victim in the middle seat and the victim’s mother in the aisle seat.

The document said: ‘Several hours into the Flight, after dinner was served and the cabin lights were dimmed, Defendant Oberlander placed his hand on the Victim’s left thigh.

‘The victim changed positions, after which Defendant removed his hand from the Victim’s thigh.

‘Shortly thereafter, Defendant Oberlander again placed his hand on the Victim’s thigh.

‘Again, the Victim shifted her position in her seat, causing defendant Oberlander to remove his hand.’

According to the complaint, later during the trip ‘the Victim, whose eyes were closed and was attempting to sleep, felt Oberlander’s hand on her left breast, over her shirt.

‘Not wanting to alert Defendant Oberlander that she was awake, Victim 1 shifted her position in the her seat closer to her mother, after which Defendant Oberlander removed his hand from her breast.’

The complaint said that later ‘Defendant Oberlander began rubbing the victim’s hand, at which point victim, put her hands in her sweatshirt pockets.

‘Defendant Oberlander then moved his hand and again placed it on the victim’s left breast, over her clothing.’

The complaint said the woman ‘turned completely away from Defendant Oberlander and crossed her arms and covered herself with a blanket’.

The document that when her mother woke up, the victim asked her to swap seats.

The victim reported what happened to the flight crew before the plane landed, according to the complaint.

Authorities have said that Oberlander was convicted in 2002 in New York of sexually abusing an 11-year-old girl.

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