NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – The North Bergen man accused of sexually abusing a fellow passenger on a flight from Phoenix to Newark last week is waiting to see if he’ll be granted bail.

A female passenger said when she woke up, Bawer Aksal, 58, had his hands inside her clothing.

WCBS 880’s Monica Miller reports

The naturalized U.S. citizen originally from Turkey denies the charges against him.

“I understand the interest in the case because everyone rides an airplane and is thrown next to each other, but he has denied aggressively what they attribute to him,” Aksal’s lawyer Robert DeGroot told WCBS 880’s Monica Miller.

Prosecutors said Aksal is a flight risk, but the man’s lawyer said he cannot go back to his native Turkey.

“He can’t go back because the last time he went to visit his 71-year-old mother, the government gave him a hard time,” DeGroot said.

The federal judge in the case said she would decide by Thursday if he makes bail.

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