Bail hearing for NJ man accused of in-flight abuse

August 30, 2012 5:04:18 AM PDT
A bail hearing is scheduled to continue Thursday for a New Jersey man accused of sexually abusing a sleeping woman on a cross-country flight.

Federal authorities say the woman awoke on the Aug. 20 flight from Phoenix to Newark to find Bawer Aksal of North Bergen with his hands inside her clothing.

Aksal has denied through his attorney that he abused the woman.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Madeline Cox Arleo, who is hearing the case in Newark, has delayed setting bail for Aksal until she receives more information on his United States and Turkish passports.

Prosecutors say Aksal, a Turkish-born U.S. citizen, is a flight risk. But Aksal said through his lawyer that he is a Kurd who fled persecution and has no desire to return to Turkey.