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Police & Fire

Sex Offender From Monsey Charged With Groping Woman On Flight

Joel Oberlander
Joel Oberlander Photo Credit: NY State Department of Corrections

MONSEY, N.Y. -- A registered sex offender from Monsey repeatedly fondled a woman on a flight from Israel to Newark, federal authorities said Friday.

A U.S. District Court judge in Newark ordered Yoel Oberlander, 35, held on abusive sexual contact charges following a brief court hearing Friday afternoon.

Oberlander was sitting next to the victim and her mother on a May 29 El Al flight from Tel Aviv to Newark Liberty International Airport, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said.

"During the flight, Oberlander repeatedly placed his hand on the female passenger’s thigh and breast without her consent," Fishman said.

Records show Oberlander pleaded guilty in New York in 2002 to sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl. He was sentenced to six months probation and moved to Monsey in 2005, records show.

Oberlander also was arrested on trespassing charges in 2012 after police said he entered a boys' dormitory at a Catskills sleep-away camp for Orthodox boys 13 and 14 years old.

Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, along with Port Authority police. Assistant U.S. Attorney Josh Hafetz of the U.S. Attorney's Criminal Division is handling the case.

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