New York Sex Offender Admits to Groping Sleeping Woman on El Al Flight

Yoel Oberlander, 36, is facing up to 10 years in prison.

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Yoel Oberlander, as he appears in the New York sex offenders' registry.
Yoel Oberlander, as he appears in the New York sex offenders' registry.Credit: New York sex offenders' registry.
JTA
JTA

A New York man is facing up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to inappropriately touching the woman sitting next to him on a flight from Israel to Newark, New Jersey.

Yoel Oberlander, 36, who is a registered sex offender, pleaded guilty to the charge of assault with intent to commit stalking in a Newark federal court on Wednesday. Oberlander, of Monsey, New York, is scheduled for sentencing on June 28.

According to the indictment, Oberlander touched the woman inappropriately several times during the course of the May 29 El Al flight from Ben Gurion International Airport to Newark Liberty International Airport and without her consent. The woman’s mother was seated next to her daughter.

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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