The U.S. Attorney's Office has charged Bawer Aksal with sexual abuse.
Federal prosecutors say the 48-year-old North Bergen resident was sitting in the middle seat on a flight from Phoenix to Newark on Monday night when he abused the woman, who was in the window seat.
Aksal allegedly slipped one hand into the woman's blouse and another into her shorts. Prosecutors say he told law enforcement officers in Newark that the woman forced his hand into her shorts.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Falk in Newark said he wanted to hold a more detailed hearing before setting bail for Aksal, who is a Turkish national with U.S. citizenship.
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