Last year, a man was arrested for allegedly groping a fellow plane passenger's breasts and genitals as she slept next to him on a Phoenix to Newark flight. Yesterday, a federal jury found Bewar Aksal guilty of criminal sexual contact and sexual abuse.
The victim, 50, testified that she had been sleeping next to the window when she woke to Aksal's hand in her shorts. The pain, she said, "that's what woke me up." She alleged that he whispered to her, "Kiss me," and said, "I was completely humiliated. I was absolutely freaking out. I wanted to go hide somewhere."
Another passenger said that Aksal was spooning her and he thought they were a couple. And a flight attendant told the court the victim "came to the back (of the airplane) almost panicking. She was in distress, shaking and crying."
Aksal, 49, was arrested when the plane landed and allegedly told FBI investigators that the victim came onto him. Yesterday, he cried after the verdict was announced. Aksal faces up to life in prison.