Bawer Aksal, 49, May Face Life In Prison; To Be Sentenced In October

NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A North Bergen man was convicted Friday of sexually assaulting a passenger on a Newark-bound flight.

A federal jury found Bawer Aksal, 49, guilty of criminal sexual contact and sexual abuse.

Aksal and his victim both shed tears in court as the verdict was read.

On Aug. 20, 2012, Aksal reached inside of the shirt and shorts of a 50-year-old woman who was asleep next to him on a United Airlines flight.

The woman said that Aksal “digitally penetrated” her during the flight, according to The Jersey Journal.

Aksal was handcuffed and detained by U.S. Marshals after Judge Jose Linares granted the government’s request to hold him as a flight risk, The Jersey Journal reported.

Aksal’s lawyer offered a brief statement following the verdict.

“We’re all profoundly disappointed, but we accept what the jurors have said,” Robert DeGroot said.

Aksal may face life in prison. He will be sentenced on Oct. 23.

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