Man found guilty of sexually abusing sleeping woman on flight

Man found guilty of sexually abusing sleeping woman on flight

A man has been found guilty of sexually abusing a woman as she slept on a US cross-country flight last year.

The female passenger told a court that she woke up to find Bawer Aksal's hands reaching around from behind to molest her.

According to Associated Press, Aksal, 49, was convicted of sexual abuse and abusive sexual contact on a United Airlines flight from Phoenix to Newark in August 2012.

Turkish-born American Aksal fondled the woman's breasts with one hand and had his other hand down her underwear and was penetrating her with his fingers.

The woman said she immediately pushed him away and got up to tell flight attendants.

According to ABC15, the 50-year-old victim said: "I'm relieved that justice has been served.

"I am glad that I can move forward knowing that I made the right decision by speaking up. I hope that others won't let the humiliation of a trial hold them back from keeping sexual molesters off the street."

After his arrest, Aksal told authorities that the woman made unwanted sexual advances towards him and forced his hands to touch her.

A flight attendant said that the woman was shaking and crying after the incident and a man who sat next to Aksal said that he saw him in a "spooning" position with the woman while he had one hand under a jumper on her lap and the other around her shoulders.

He faces a maximum penalty of life in prison and a $250,000 (£163,700) fine when sentenced in October.

Related articles

Woman 'sexually assaulted' as she slept on flight to Hawaii

Female passenger gropes flight attendant after drinking pint of whiskey

Video: Woman arrested for 'groping' airport security
Read Full Story