June 17, 2016
NEWARK, N.J. - A Monsey, New York, man appeared in federal court today to face charges that he sexually abused a woman on a flight from Israel to Newark Liberty International Airport, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Yoel Oberlander, 35, was charged by criminal complaint with one count of abusive sexual contact on an airplane. Oberlander had his initial appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph A. Dickson in Newark federal court and was detained.
According to the complaint:
While on a May 29, 2016 El Al flight from Tel Aviv to Newark, Oberlander was seated next to a female passenger and her mother. During the flight, Oberlander repeatedly placed his hand on the female passenger's thigh and breast without her consent.
Oberlander is a registered sex offender. He was previously convicted in 2002 in New York for sexual abuse in the second degree, arising from his sexual assault of an eleven-year-old girl.
The abusive sexual contact charge carries a statutory maximum of up to two years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher in Newark, and the Port Authority of New York-New Jersey, with the investigation leading to today's arrest.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Josh Hafetz of the U.S. Attorney's Criminal Division in Newark.