Sex Offender Allegedly Abuses Sleeping Woman on El Al Flight From Tel Aviv to Newark

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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.

A New York man was charged Friday with sexually abusing a woman on an overnight El Al flight from Tel Aviv to Newark last month, NJ.Com reported, repeatedly placing his hand on her thigh and breast as she attempted to sleep. 

According to the indictment, Yoel Oberlander, a 35-year-old from Monsey who was convicted in 2002 of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl, was seating at the window seat next to the woman and her mother. Oberlander allegedly started touching the woman after dinner was served and the lights were dimmed. He allegedly placed his hands over the woman's thigh, and took it away after she moved.

Some time later into the night, when the woman was trying to sleep, Oberlander allegedly placed his hand on her left breast. She pulled away and he removed his hand, at which point the woman asked her mother, who had woken up, to switch seats with her, and then complained to the flight crew. 

Oberlander was charged by federal prosecutors with abusive sexual contact on an airplane in a New Jersey court.  He faces up to two years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted. 

In 2012, Oberlander, then an employee of kosher food company Golden Taste in Monsey, reportedly trespassed on the premises of an Orthodox all-boys camp in the Catskills in the wee hours of night. According to reports, he went into the Camp Shalva in South Fallsburg to deliver milk, and then snuck into a bunkhouse where 13 and 14-year-old boys were sleeping.

The boys' parents said the children told them Oberlander tickled their feet. He was charged with second-degree trespassing and a misdemeanor, after turning himself to the police about a week after the incident. 

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