Man Accused of Sexually Abusing a Sleeping Woman on a Plane Could Face Life in Prison

Illustration for article titled Man Accused of Sexually Abusing a Sleeping Woman on a Plane Could Face Life in Prison

As if airplanes weren't gross and awful enough as it is, a New Jersey man was indicted Thursday for sexually abusing a woman who had fallen asleep next to him on a United Airlines flight from Phoenix to Newark. According to the CNN, a man named Bawer Aksal was detained on August 21 upon arriving in the lovely metropolis of Newark for allegedly groping a woman he was sitting next to on the plane. The U.S. District Attorney's office has provided an account with predictably creepy details:

While the plane was in the air, the woman — who did not know Aksal — fell asleep with a jacket across her legs. She awoke to find Aksal's hands inside her shirt and shorts as he asked her to kiss him.


Having some stranger's hand on your junk is probably the second worst thing to wake up to after falling asleep on a plane, just behind the captain telling everyone, "Um, you guys, the engines just shut off. I'm not really sure what the deal is..." The federal government has jurisdiction over all sexual assault cases that occur on American flights, which means that Aksal faces a maximum life-in-prison sentence, along with a $250,000 fine because the government is absolutely not fucking around when it comes to breaking the law on an airplane, which at least provides a modicum of reassurance to all those people who find themselves hurtling through the sky in a metal fuselage filled with strangers.

New Jersey man charged with sexually abusing sleeping woman on plane [CNN]

Image via Renzi/Shutterstock.


Resplendent Effervescence

I said this on a post a long time ago about sexual assault on an airplane: The flight crew needs to WARN everyone on the plane before take off that this shit is unacceptable and, like this guy, they could face up to life imprisonment if they dare touch their seatmate. I would like to think that might thwart some guys from doing this stuff— like go to the bathroom and jack off, I don't care, but don't assault your seat partner! I think airlines need to do more to prevent this stuff.