Woman ‘molested’ by passenger seated next to her on United flight testifies how she woke up with his hands down her shorts and him whispering ‘kiss me’
By Daily Mail Reporter PUBLISHED: 16 July 2013
A woman who alleges that she was molested on a cross-country flight by the stranger sitting next to her has told a New Jersey court that she woke up from her mid-flight nap because she felt his hands in her pants and up her shirt.
‘I was completely confused about what the hell was going on,’ the woman testified on Monday at the beginning of the trial against Bawer Aksal, the 49-year-old man sitting next to her.
The woman, whose name has not been released, said ‘the pain – that’s what woke me up’.
When she was awake, the incident continued as he ‘seductively’ whispered ‘kiss me’.
‘I couldn’t believe this was happening,’ she said in court, according to NJ.com.
The lead flight attendant corroborated the accuser’s rattled composure following the alleged incident during her testimony on Tuesday.
The flight attendant said the woman was ‘visibly shaken’.
Though Aksal has not taken the stand, he told a different version of events to the officers who responded to the scene.
Two FBI agents who took Aksal’s statement at the airport said that he claimed the woman was ‘coming onto him’ by saying he was handsome and smelled good.
NJ.com reports that Aksal told the officers that she was the one to make the first physical move, by placing his hands on her genitals.
Two other passengers testified on Tuesday, one saying that Aksal glared at her through the crack between two seats and another told how his chair was kicked so hard that it disturbed his sleep.
In addition to handing over all of his travel documents, Aksal was made to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet during the time he spent waiting for his bail, and he had to adhere to a 24/7 lockdown in his North Bergen home, NJ.com reported.
He has been ordered to abstain from contact with the alleged victim or anyone else involved in the case.
Aksal, an ethnic Kurd, fled Turkey years ago and was denied bail at his first court appearance because he was deemed to be a flight risk.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Harris, argued that as a Turkish-born U.S. citizen with few stateside assets, at least two passports and facing up to life in prison on the sex abuse charge, he was a flight risk with a strong motive to flee to Turkey.
Defense attorney Robert DeGroot said Aksal denied abusing the woman and disputed claims in the criminal complaint that he had admitted to authorities that he had touched the woman but had told them it was consensual. DeGroot argued that the scenario, on a crowded plane, was highly unlikely.
‘If I was on a plane and someone reached into my trousers, I would wake up and complain vociferously,’ DeGroot argued to U.S. Magistrate Judge Madeline Cox Arleo during a bail hearing in Newark federal court.
Harris countered that the woman, whom prosecutors have not named because of the nature of the charges, did wake up and protest, slamming down the arm rest between her and Aksal and alerting the flight crew.
Harris said the woman, who dozed off wearing headphones and with a jacket draped across her lap, awoke to find her clothing ripped, her bra pulled down to her waist and Aksal breathing heavily and whispering for her to kiss him.
‘This was a crime of violence,’ Harris told the judge. ‘An egregious act in a commercial airliner with over 100 potential witnesses.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2366326/Bawer-Aksal-Woman-molested-passenger-seated-United-flight-testifies-woke-hands-shorts-whispering-kiss-me.html#ixzz2ZHUKhmDd
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